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i.ivKBKi) riy THE Vkby Rev. VV U. Inok, c.\ 

TH'' 1 I -irii Ri.-<vi/>v 1(1>-1 lci)| 















THR IISth Session, 1923-1924. 




The Address, "The Theory of the State," deUvered by 
His Honour Judge H. C. Dowdall, k.c, on the 20th Novem- 
ber, 1922, is printed in the Law Qmirterly Review, volume 39, 
pp. 9S-125 (January, 1923), entitled " The Word State." A 
reprint of the Address is published by Stevens & Sons Ltd., 


List op Purbidknts iv 

CoUNCIFi V, vi 

Editokial Preface ! vii 

LiKT OP Okdinaky ^[emhbkb xii 


Full List op Honorary Mkmukub from 1812 xxii 

Trkasdrrr's Statement — Sbbrion CX xxvii 

„ „ — Session CXI xxviii 

„ „ — Sbbsion GXII xxix 

Beport and Proceedings — Session CXI xxx 

„ — Session CXII xxxti 

„ at close of Session CXII xlii 



ColonelJ. M McMaster, C.M.G., V.D.— "The War— 

and After " 1 

Sir Oliver Lodge, M.Sc, F.R.S., D.Sc, LL.D., 

M. I. E.E.-" Relativity" 19 

W. H. Jacohsbn — " The Plain Man and his Problems" 43 

George H. Morton, M.S.A. — " Industrial Co-Partner- 

ship" 61 


Bertram B. Benas, B.A., LL.B.—" Philosophical 

Aspects of Sentiment" 85 

Ralph T. Bodry, MA.—" Montaigne" 123 

A. Theodore Brown—" Sir Anthony Panizzi " 127 

The Right lion, the Earl of Crawford and Bal- 
c\RRE8, PC, LL.D., F.S.A. — RoRcoE Lecture — 
" William Roscoe and Problems of To-day " 149 

.1. George Adami, C.B.E., M.D., F.R.S., F.R.C.P.— 

" Science in Relation to Literature and Philosophy " 173 


The Very Rev. W. R. Inge. C.V.O., D.D.— Roscoe 
Lecture—" The Platonic Tradition in Modern 
Religious Thought" J91 
















1859 . 


1863 , 




1875 , 


1879 . 

1881 . 

1883 . 

1835 . 

1887 . 

1889 . 


18Q2 . 

1894 . 

1896 . 

1897 . 
139^' . 
1900 . 
190i . 
1903 . 

1905 , 

1906 . 

nin . 


1013 . 

1914 . 

1915 . 

1919 . 

1920 . 

1921 . 

1922 . 

1923 . 

Rev. Thkophilus Houlbrooke, LL B. 

William Roscoe, F.K.S., F.L.S. 

Thomas Stewart Traill, M.D. 

.fosEPH Brookes Yates, F.S.A. 

Rev. James Martineau, LL.D. 

Rev. Thos. Tattershall, D.D. 

Joseph Brookes Yates, F.S.A. 

Rev. James Booth, LL.D., F.R.S. 

Joseph Brookes Yates, F.S.A. 

Joseph Dickinson, M.A., M.D., F.R.S. 

Robert McAndrevv, F.R.S., F.L.S. 

Thomas Inman, M.D. 

Rev. Henry Hugh Higgins, M..A. 

William Ihne, Ph.D. 

James A. Picton, F.S.A. 

Rev. C. D. Ginsburg, LL.D. 

J. Birkbeck Nevins, M.D. 

Albert Julius Mott, F.G.S. 

[Sir] James A. Picton, F.S.A. 

John J. Drysdale, M.D., M.R.C.S. 

Lord Russell of Liverpool. 

Edward Davies, F.G.S., F.I.C. 

Richard Steel, J.P. 

William Garter, LL.B., ]\LD., B.Sc. 

James Birjhall. 

Rev. Henry Hugh Higgins, M.A. 

Baron Louis Benas, J.P. 

Rev. Gerald H. Rendall. M.A., Litt.D. 

J. Birkbeck Nevins, M.D. 

John Newton, M.R.C.S. 

Richard J. Lloyd, D.Lit., M.A., F.R.S. I-:. 

Rev. Edward N. Hoare, M.A. 

J. Murray Moore, M.D., INLR.C.S., F.R.G.S. 

Rev. Edmund A. Wesley, M.A. 

Rev. William E. Sims, A.K.C. 

A. Theodore Brown. 

James T. Foard. 

J. Hampden Jackson, F.R.G.S., F.C.I. S. 

Alfred E. Hawkes, M.D. 

Thomas L. Dodds, O.B.P:., J.P. 
■ Rev. Edmund A. Wesley, M.A. 

I.TONFT R. Wtlrerforce, M.A. 

Rev. Edward Hicks, D.D.. D.C L. 

George Henry Morton, M.S. A. 

Rev. Willtam E. Sims, A.K.C.. F.Ph.S. 

Allan Heywood Bright, J.P. 

C. Y. 0. Dawbarn. M.A. 

Sir James Barr, G.B.E.. D.L., M.D., LL D 
F.R.C.P.. F.R.S.E. 

Colonel J. yi. McMaster, C.M.G., V.D. 

Bertram B. Benas, B.A., LL.B. 
Ralph T. Bodey, M.A. 


SESSION CXI, 1921-1922. 

President : 
Col. J. M. McMaster, C.M.G., V.D. 

Ex-Presidents : 

Rev. G. H. Kendall, M.A., 

Rev. Edmund A. Wesley, 

Rev. Canon Sims, A.K.C* 

A. Theodore Brown. 
Thomas L. Dodds, O.B.E., 


Prof. L. R. Wilberforce, 

George H. Morton, M.S. A. 
Allan Heywood Bright, 

C. Y. C. Dawbarn, M.A. 
Sir James Barr, C.B.E., 

D.L., M.D., LL.D., 

F.R.C.P.. F.R.S.E. 

Vice-President : 
Thomas H. Biokerton, J.P., L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S. 

Honorary Treasurer : 
John W. Thompson, B.A. 

Hotiorary Librarian : 
Rev. Khodadad E. Keith, M.A. 

Keeper of the Records : 
Alfred W. Newton, M.A. 

Honorary Secretary : 
Edward A. Bryant. 

Bertram B, Benas, B.A., 

Rev. I. Raffalovich. 
William PI. Buoad, M.B., 

B.S., F.R.A.I., T.D. 
H. Grattan Johnston, 

M.D., F.R.C.S.E. 

J. Hamilton Gibson, 
O.B.E., M.I.N.A.,M.Eng. 

Miss Florence Rollo, 

Miss H. S. English. 

William J. B. Ashley. 

R. T. Bodey, M.A. 

William H. Jacobsen. 


SESSION CXII, 19 2 2-1923. 

President : 
Bertram B. Benas, B.A., LL.B. 

Ex-Presidents : 

Bev. G. H. Kendall, M.A., 

Rev. Edmund A. Wesley, 

Rev. Canon Sims, A.K.C, 

A. Theodore Brown. 
Thomas L. Dodds, O.B.E., 



George H. Morton, M.S. A. 
Allan Hbywood Bright, 

C. Y. C. Dawbarn, M.A. 
Sir James Barr, O.B.E., 

D.L., M.D., LL.D., 

F.R.C.P., F.R.S.E. 

Col. J. McMasjer, C.M.G.,Y.D. 

Vice-President : 
Thomas H. Bickerton, J. P., L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S. 

Honorary Treasiirer : 
William H. Jacobsen. 

Honorary Librarian : 
Rev. Khodadad E. Keith, M.A. 

Keeper of the Records : 
Rev. Khodadad E. Keith, M.A. 

Honorary Secretary : 
Edward A. Bryant. 

Miss H. S. English. 
Rev. I. Raffalovich. 
William B. Broad, M.D. 

B.S., F.R.A.I., T.D. 
Miss Florence Rollo, 


R. T. BoDEY, M.A. 
Mary Ivens, M.B., M.S. 

Samuel Brookfield. 
Alfred W. Newton, M.A, 
William Wardle. 

Walter P. Forster. 



In issuing a volume of Proceedings and Papers of an old 
and learned Society it is important, while keeping pace 
with modern times, to remind members and others that 
historical features must not be forgotten, historical fea- 
tures coupled with erudition, allied to a practical useful- 
ness, with the lamp of intellectual culture ever brightly 

Records show that in the year 1750 a few gentlemen 
were in the habit of meeting for the discussion of literary 
subjects at the house of Mr. William Everard, in St. 
Paul's Square. There is no doubt that the lamp of 
such intelligore was lighted even before that date. 

In 1758 the record of that little coterie ceases, because 
it is merged into the establishment of the Liverpool 
Library, Lyceum, of which William Everard was the first 
librarian. The Lyceum Library, after 166 years, still 
carries on the pursuit of learning, and a desire for that 
higher "something" which the association with good 
literature brings about. This library, it may be noted, 
was the first circulating library in Europe. The small 
cupboard,* formerly in the possession of William Everard, 
and used, in 1757, to contain the books forming the 
nucleus of the Liverpool Library, Lyceum, is now in the 
rotunda of the library in Bold Street. The cabinet would 
hold about BO small books. The library now contains 
about 65,000 volumes, and has about 800 proprietors. 
The formation of the Athenteum is also associated with 
our early members and founders. 

* The Librarian at the Lyceum will readily show the cabinet to any 
membtir who cares to see it. 


In 1779 a new Society, called the Liverpool Philo- 
sophical and Literary Society, was formed. Li 1783 
Jonathan Binns, the Quaker President, called attention to 
the fact that on a certain day he would sell up the effects 
of the Society, and accordingly did so. 

In 1784 Mr. William Eoscoe, with the Kev. Dr. 
William Shepherd, Dr. Currie, Rev. John Yates and (the 
second) William Rathbone formed a society, to meet at 
the members' houses in turn, for discussion of literary 
and scientific subjects. 

In 1790 a small literary club existed, to which Edvvard 
Eushton the elder, the blind poet, belonged, and out of 
whose discussions issued the germ which afterwards 
developed into that noble institution, " The School for the 

In all these movements there is a connecting link. 

Out of the first names enrolled in our present Society, 
founded in 1812, the Rev. J. Yates and the Rev. Joseph 
Smith had belonged to the 1779 Society, and six 
other members, William Wallace Currie, William and 
Richard Rathbone, Joseph Brooks, John Ashton Yates, 
and Thomas Binns were the sons of gentlemen who had 
belonged to the previous Society. We can thus trace back 
an unbroken connection for 174 years. From 1750 to the 
the present day the chain of literary and scientific efforts 
in this locality is continuous.* 

The growth of many institutions in our midst can be 
traced to our early members and founders. Dr. T. S. 
Traill, the Honorary Secretary from 1812 to 1831, was a 
founder of the Liverpool Institute (Mechanics' Institute). 
Dr. Traill also edited one of the editions of the Ency- 
dopcedia Britannica, as well as being active in many other 

• The authority for this, [Sir] James A. Picton's Presidential Address 
of 1374. 


directions. Papei-s read before the Society have found 
favour in the eyes of the Government of the country, and 
been adopted by them. Our members were influential in 
thought, action, and financial support in the foundation 
of the Liverpool University, Free Public Library and 
Museum, and tbey made Liverpool famous all over the 
•world, m'Tcli of our members' work being scored up to the 
credit of Liverpool. Listances of this kind could be 
multiplied many times. 

Dr. William Ihne, in his Presidential Address of 1862, 
said the Society was entering upon a second portion of its 
career. He said :— " Thinking of the fathers of 1812 and 
the work of the Society, it would urge us on to increased 
exertions in our work, that our children, when they looked 
back upon our days, may not point to us as laggards in 
the great work of the education of the human race." 
These were the words of Dr. Ihne in 1862, and in 1864 
the Rev. H. H. Higgins observed, " That it will at once be 
perceived that we have the advantage of mature age and 
renovated youth — of reverence for the past and of renewed 
hope for the future. On the members, therefore, it 
depends to render to the Society by their exertions, 
worthy of themselves and the town, to keep up the 
character of the Proceedings." 

It is interesting to note the objects declared by the 
founders of the Society; — "To establish in the town a 
centre for the promotion of literature and science gene- 
rally, and to modify the local tendency to the pursuit of 
commerce exclusively." 

Our membership roll is a biographia of the makers of 
Liverpool, and men who had a great influence beyond the 
merely parochial. 

We have tradition expressing itself, and the hereditary 
desire for learning showing in many instances amongst 


the members. This extends to the Presidential chair, 
Allan Heywood Bright was President during the Sessions 
one hundred and seven (1917) and one hundred and eight 
(1918) ; his great-grandfather, Joseph Brooks Yates, wa& 
President in the twenty-third Session (1838), and sub- 
sequently eleven other Sessions. Baron Louis Benas was 
President in 1890; his son, Bertram B. Benas, was 
President in 1922. 

Our members have supplied many of the occupants of 
the Mayoral chair of Liverpool, The first Mayor of Liver- 
pool under the Municipal Eeform Act (1835) was one of 
our founders, WiUiam Wallace Currie. It was said of 
him, "His mind was well cultivated and stored with 
literature, He was an honest politician, w^ho never used 
his influence to push his own private interests." 

I here make it known that our Records are important 
to future historians of Liverpool. 

We have a number of living members whose member- 
shi}) dates back many years. The oldest in this respect ia 
Sir Dyce Duckwortli, Bart., who was elected an Ordinary 
Member in 1858, nearly 67 years ago. He was made an 
Honorary Member in 1911, and read a paper before the 
Society as recent as January, 1924. Such virility is 
very reminiscent of our motto, " Vires acquiret eundo." 

The Society has been the happy hunting ground of 
amateurs and experts, who joined together and shared the 
delights that brighten the pursuit of knowledge. 

The association of men in a Society like this, men of 
intellectual vision with the gift of putting concepts into 
practical action, naturally stimulated this group of men 
both individually and collectively. Joseph Sanders, the 
" Father " of the Liverpool and Mancliester Eailway, was 
one of the founders of the Society in 1812. Another 
founder, Thomas Binns, whose extraordinary collection of 
Maps, Plates, and Portraits, illustrative of the past history 


of Liverpool, can now be seen at the Liverpool Public 
Library, which building, together with the Museum 
Building, was presented to the city of Liverpool by 
another member, Sir William Brown, Past President. Sir 
James A. Picton was also closely associated with the 
public library movement in the city. The Society held as 
a member Henry Booth, first Secretary of the London & 
North-Western liailway, who invented valuable additions 
to rolling stock in the pioneer days of railways ; also his 
nephews, Alfred and Charles Booth, founders of the Booth 
Steamship Co. Also the following, whose names are 
household words in Liverpool: — W. J. Lamport, George 
Holt, Jun., Alfred Holt, C. T. Bowring, Kobert Durning 
Holt, William Rathbone, E. K. Muspratt, Sir W. B. For- 
wood, John Hope Simpson, and Sir James Hope Simpson. 
James Hargreaves, discoverer of the methods of electro- 
lysis of salts and the bleaching of soap. Sir G. B. Airy, 
Astronomer Boyal, who read a paper before the Society in 
1838 on " Compass Correction in iron built Ships." 
David Waldie, who wiis so closely associated with the 
discovery of chloroform. Charles Wye Williams, in- 
ventor of water-tight compartments in ships. Captain 
James Anderson, who laid the Atlantic telegraph cable. 
Lord Avebury, Professors Tyndall, Huxle^', Hooker, Max 
Muller, Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir William Herdman, Sir 
Walter Raleigh, Charles Dickens, Judge Barron Field, 
William Roscoe, Dr. Ginsburg, Lord Lindsay, and many 
other personalities of erudition and distinction. 

Members reading these thoughts, which only faintly 
express the many past activities of this old and learned 
Society, will feel pride in their membership, and actively 
keep that pride practical in supporting and furtheriiig its 
usefulness, membership, and distinction. 


Hon. Seckiitaby. 




Life Members are marked with an asterisk {.*). 
Associates are marked with a dagger (I). 

Oct. 30, 1922 Adami, Mrs. J. George, 9 Croxteth-road 
fOct. 20, 1919 Adams, Miss Elenour, 44 Devonshire-road, 

fOct. 20, 1919 Adams, Miss Doris, 44 Devonshire-road, 

Oct. 30, 1922 Ahern, Dr. John Maurice, 17 Walton-park 
lOct. 30, 1922 Ahern, Mrs. J. M., 17 Walton-park 
Oct. 31, 1921 Apalyras, Mrs. Amy, 58 Kin gsley. road, 

Princes -park 
Jan. 14, 1918 Barr, Sir James, C.B.E., D.L., M.D., LL.D., 
F.E.C.P., F.R.S.E., 72 Bo dney- street, Ex- 
Nov. 17, 1919 Barr, Lady, Otterspool Bank, Aighurth 
Oct. 28, 1907 Benas, Bertram B., B.A., LL.B., 43 Castle- 
street, Ex-President 
Jan. 9, 1882 Benas, Phineas A., 5 Princes-avenue 
Oct. 13, 1913 Bickerton, Thos. Herbert, J.P., L.R.C.P., 

M.R.C.S., 88 Rodney-street 
Nov. 8, 1909 Black, John, 25 Alexandra-drive, Princes- 
fJan. U, Id 18 B\,M.ias Ivy, 16Q Bedford-street 
I Dec. 9, 1918 Blair, Miss Nancy, The Hollies, Park-road 

south, Birkenhead 
Nov. 11, 1918 Bodey, Ralph T., M.A. (Oxon.), 63 Hart- 

ington-road, President, 113th Session 
Jan. 20, 1919 Bodey, Mrs., 63 Har ting ton-road 


Oct. 7, 1895 Bramwell, Miss, Eye and Ear Infirmary, 

Oct. 13, 1913 Bright, Allan Heywood, J. P., Barton Court, 

Cohvall, Malvern, Ex-President 
Oct. 13, 1913 Broad, William Henry, M.D., B.S., F.R.A.I., 

T..D, 17 Rodney-street 
Oct. 8, 1906 Brookfield, Samuel, 18 Eaton-road, Crcs- 

sing ton 
fOct. 9, 1911 Brookfield, Mrs. idt Eaton-road, Cressington 
Oct. 30, 1922 Brown, A. M., 34 South John-street 
Oct. 31, 1892 Brown, A. Theodore, 25 Lord-street, Ex- 

Oct. 13, 1913 Bryant, Edward Arthur, Clydesdale, 8 Grocs. 

■ road, Cressington, Hon. Secretary. 
fJan. 20, 1919 Burnett, Miss Eleanor, Devonshire-house, 

Devonshire -park, Birkenhead 
Oct 15, 1917 Burnett, Miss M. Edith, Devonshire- hoinc, 

Devonshire-park, Birkenhead 
tOct. 9, 1911 Burrell, Miss C, 53 Hiiskisson-street 
f Oct. 9, 1911 Burrell, Miss A., 53 Huslcisson-street 
Oct. 15, ]923 Campagnac, Prof. Ernest T., M.A., Green- 
gate, Dmgle-lane 
tNov. 20, 1922 Cartmel, Mrs., 7 Percy-street 
Oct. 30, 1922 Clavkson, Miss Dora, Beech Lyn, Mossley-hill 
+Nov. 2G, 1923 Claxton, Miss Myra, 2 Victoria-drive^ West 

Jan. 5, 1920 Cohan, Miss May, 10 Aigburth-drive 
+ Nov. 26, 1923 Colvin, Mrs., 21 Belvidere-road 
Nov. 14, 1921 Colvin, Sidney, 21 Belvidere-road 
Nov. 26, 1917 Constable, Kenneth M., B.A., A.M.I.N.A., 

7 Hamilton- square, Birkenhead 
fNov. 1, 1920 Coventry, Mrs. Hubert, Sandowne, Birken- 

head-road, Great Meols 
Oct. 31, 1921 Coventry, Miss Ida, 4 Ivanhoe-road 
fOct. 9, 1911 Davis, Miss G. Tank (R.R.C.), Links- vieu; 

Meols-drive, Hoylake 


Oct. 9, 1916 Dawbarn, C. Y. C, M.A., 12 Adelaide-terrace, 

Waterloo, Ex-President 
iDeo. 9, 1918 Dawbarn, Mrs., 12 Adelaide-terrace, Waterloo 
tOct. 20, 1919 Decker, Miss Katharine D., 9 Mannermg- 

road, Sefton-park 
Oct. 18, 1915 Digby, Capt. P. E , 98th Infantry (Indian 

Army), GJiaqai, Khyher, N.W.F., India 
tJan. 5, 1920 Dobson, Miss Emily M. (c/o A. Holt & Co.), 

Ltdia-luildings, Water-street 
Jan. 21, 1923 Dodds, S. E., M.A., LL.B., M.P., 8CooA;-s^rgei 
Feb. 10, 1908 Dodds, Thomas L., O.B.E., J.P., Charlesville, 

Birkenhead, Ex-President 
Nov. 28, 1892 Douglas, Eobert E., Oaklands, GrassendaJe 
Oct. 16, 1922 Dowdall, His Honour Judge H. C, K.C., 

M.A., B.C.L., Boar's Head, Oxford, and 

14 Sydenliam- avenue, Liverpool 
Nov. 18, 1889 Duncan, W. A., Dllston, 9 Kiioiosley-road, 

Cressing ton-park 
Nov. 17, 1919 Edwards, Mrs., Holmfield, Aigburth 
Jan. 28, 1918 Elwes, Dudley A., 17 Oakbank-road, Sefton- 
Oct. 9, 1911 English, Miss H. S., 37 Ullet-road 
Oct. 23, 1916 Eyre, Miss F., Dovecot, Knotty Ash 
INov. 20, 1920 Faivre, Mile. Eose, 68 Bedford-street 
Oct. 29, 1888 Forster, Walter P., 44 Devonshire-road, 

-Nov. 26, 1917 Gibson, J. Hamilton, M.Eng., O.B.E., 

M.I.N. A., Shcnstone, Grove-road, Sutton, 

Surrey; also 32 Victoria-street, London, 

I Oct. 15, 1923 Gough, Miss Ann, 20 Gambler -terrace 
I Oct. 15, 1923 Gough, Miss Margaret, 20 Gambier- terrace 
Dec. 12, 1892 Gladstone, Eobert, M.A., B.C.L., 9 Liberty- 

buildings, School-lane 
Oct. 29, 1917 Grundy, Miss Margaret B., Liverpool College, 

Lockerbyroad, Fairfield 


































































iNov. 1, 1920 

Hall, Lawrence. 6 Canning street 

Hamilton, Miss Ada L.. 8 ^\'estbank^road, 

Harbottle. John W.. 12 Kinnaird-road, Lis- 
card, Wallasey 

Hay. Alexander, Kinnaird, Breck-road, Wal- 

Hemmons, Alfred, 36 I luskisssoJi- street, 


Hemmons, Mis. Helen A., 36 Hiiskision- 

Heyworth, Mrs. Harold, 16 Mamiion-road 
Hodgson, Miss Eenee, 38 Canning-street 
Hughes, William B., B.A., 283 Walton Breck- 
road, Anfield 
Hutchinson, S. Mason, J. P., The Mar/ords, 

Hutchinson, Mrs., The Marfords, Brom- 

Ivens, Miss Mary, M.B. M.S. (Lond.), 48a 

Jacobsen. William H., 36 Rossett-road, Crosby, 

Hon. Treasurer 
Jacobsen, Miss Elizabeth, G3 Newshani- 

Jacobsen, Miss Florence, 63 Newshavi-drive 
Johnston, Frank B., M.A. (Cantab.), Merida, 

Noctorum, Birkenhead 
Johanning, Misa Annie, 108 Princes-road 
Johanning, Miss Edith, 108 Princes-road 
Jones, Morris P., J. P., Gungrog Hall, 

Jones, A. Harry, 49 Evered-avenue, Walton 
Jones, Miss Hilda Thornley, 6 Abercroinby- 

terrace, Oxford-street 
Joplin, Miss Ann, Ruth House, Iluyton 


Oct. 29, 1923 Keates. John Willan, 36 Singleton-avenue, 

Oct. 3, 1910 Keith, Eev. Khodadad, E., M.A., Selstde^ 

Olive-lane, Wavertrce, Hon. Librarian 
fNov. 3, 1919 Kewley, Miss Helen C, 9 Cra7i6o2<rM<;-at;e?2?fe, 

INov. 14, 1921 Lee, Dr. Mary B., 29 IvanJioe-road 
fNov. 14, 1921 Lee, Miss Annie, 29 Ivanlioe-road 
=-Dec. 11, 1871 Leigh, Eichmond, M.K.C.S., L.S.A., Beitz, 

Orange Biver Colony, S. Ajrica 
■=Nov. 12, 1917 Leverhulme, The Eight Hon. Lord, Thornton 

Manor, Thornton Hough, Cheshire 
"-^=Dec. 13, 1920 Lever, The Hon. Hulme, Thornton Manor, 

Thornton Hough, Cheshire 
Jan. 30, 1922 Levin, Miss Eda, L.E.A.M., 76 Lord-street 
iOct. 20, 1919 Lewis, Miss Jean, 14 Cook-street 
Oct, 16, 1922 Lloyd, G. A., L.D.S., E.C.S. (Edin.), 101 

Upper Parliament-street 
Oct. 15, 1923 Macdonald, Eev. A. J., M A., 108 Bedford- 
Dec. 15, 1919 Mathews, Godfrey W., 23 Holland-road, 

Dec. 15, 1919 Mathews, Mrs., 23 Holland-road, Liscard 
f Jan. 5, 1920 Mawdsley, Mrs., Coppice Leys, Formhy 
fJan. 5, 1920 Mawdsley, Miss Norah H., Coppice Leys, 

Feb. 25, 1918 McElwain, Miss Louie, 72 C/pjocrParZmwen^ 

Oct. 30, 1882 McMaster, Col. John Maxwell, C.M.G., V.D., 

Oak Cottage, The Serpentine, Grassendale, 

I Nov. 1, 1920 McMaster, Mrs., Oak Cottage, The Serpen- 
tine, Grassendale 
Nov. 8, 1909 McMillan, Miss E., 16 Ashfield-road 
"Oct. 13, 1911 Mellor, John, Somerford, Nicholas-road, 



*Oct. 0, 1914 Mellor, Miss F. E., Fronderion, Glandwr, 
near Barmouth 

Nov. 11, 1918 Mellor, Miss Alice L., Fronderion Glandwr, 

Oct. 15, 1917 Melly, Miss Eva, 90 Chatham-street 

Feb. 28, 1921 Meredith, Miss Jane E., Lady Superinten- 
dent, II.M. Prison, Walton 

Dec. 15, 1919 Millard, Eichard F. (c/o Bushby Bros.), Old 

f Mar. 17, 1924 Mill, Miss M. (Oversea's League), 14 Elliot- 

Nov. 20, 1922 Moore, Stanley, 30 Euston-road, Walton 

Mar. 6, 1882 Morton, George Henry, M.S.A., 14 Grove- 
park, Ex-President 

Oct. 5, 1914 Morton, Mrs., 14 Grove-park 

Nov. 12, 1923 Murdoch, Captain Hamilton Ball, 61 Mount- 
. road, New Brighton 

Nov. 26, 1900 Narramore, Edward G., L.D.S., Eng., 39 
Canning- street f Ex-Hon. Secretary 

Oct. 1, 1894 Nevins, J. Ernest, M.B. (Lond.), 32 Princes- 

Nov. 2, 1896 Newton, Alfred William, M.A., 213 North 
Hill-street, Ex-Keeper op Eecords and 


Dec. 15, 1919 Newton, Miss Adelaide C, 143 Highfield- 

road, Bock Ferry] 
Dec. 4, 1922 Nickson, Capt. George, Conservative Club, 

iOct. 30, 1922 Penlington, Miss Mildred, Church House, 

Nov. 12, 1923 Pepper, Miss M. C, B.Sc, 98 Princes-road 
Dec. 15, 1919 Porter, Charles, CO., 10 Wellesley-terrace, 

Oct. 9, 1913 Publio Library, The, of South Australia, 


fDec. 9, 1918 Pye, Miss Hilda, 115 Oakfield-road, Anfield 



fOct. 16, 1922 Quant, Miss Ethel, 65 Upper Parliament- 
Nov. 12, 1923 Ehodes, Miss F. A. W., Liverpool Eye and 

Ear Infirmary, Myrtle-street 
Oct. 31, 1881 Eennie, J. W., 38 Castle-road, Liscard 
Nov. 14, 1921 Eice, James, M.A., The University, Brown- 

Nov. 15, 1920 Eoberts, John Ellison, Grasmere, Darley- 

drive. West Derby 
Mar. 6, 1917 Eollo, Miss Florence, A.E.C.M., The Park, 

Nov. 15, 1920 Eollo, Miss Gertrude, The Park, Waterloo 
Nov, 11, 1918 Eollo, Miss Katherine, The Church House, 

*Mar. 25, 1912 Eothschild, Lord, Ph.D., F.E.S., Director, 

Zoological Museum, Tring, Herts 
Oct. 30, 1922 Eussell of Liverpool, Jean, Lady, 5 Croxteth- 

IDec. 12, 1892 Eye, Miss Ellen Ij., Bedford College, Bedford- 
Feb. 3, 1919 Salter, Mrs., 198 Wadham-road, Booth 
fOct. 18. 1920 Scott, Miss Edith H., Atholfeld, Cressington- 

I Jan. 16, 1922 Scott, Miss Lilian, Atholfeld, Cressington- 

Oct. 18, 1897 Shelley, Eoland J. A., F.E.Hist.S., Oceanic 

House, 1a Cockspur-street, London 
Oct. 30, 1922 Shenk, Miss, 14 Grant-road, Pilch- lane, 

Knotty Ash 
INov. 2, 1903 Sims, Mrs., Norwich 
Oct. 16, 1922 Sivertsen, Miss Inga, 16 Silverhurn- avenue, 

Moreton, Birkenhead 
Dec. 9, 1918 Stephens, Henry B. (Maritime Insurance 

Co. Ltd.), Broivji's-buildings, Exchange 
Dec. 9, 1918 Stephens, Mrs. Jessica Walker, 9 Bedcross 



Oct. 31, 1921 Stevenson, Thomas, M.D., T.D., 40 Rodney- 

Oct. 30, 1922 Stevenson, Mrs. T., 1 Percy-street 

Nov. 3, 1919 Swale, Joseph, Alvia House, Alma-road, 

Dec. 9, 1918 Thompson, Edmund R., C.C,. Eaton Bank, 
Cressing ton-park 

Oct. 21, 1878 Thompson, J. W., B.A. (Lond. and Victoria), 
The Knoll, Heversham, Westnwrland, Ex- 
HoN. Treasurer 

Mar. 19, 1923 Tilleraont-Thomason, F. E., 35 Cambridge- 
road, Seaforth 

Nov. 17, 1919 Trenery, Miss Ethelwyn, 8 Lynwood-road, 

f Oct. 19, 1914 Walker, Miss Isabel E., Park House, Huyton 

fNov. 11, 1918 Walton, Miss Helen, LL.A., 27 Clarendon- 
road, Garston 

Oct. 18, 1920 Wardle William, 4 Olive-lane, Wavertree 

+Oct, 18, 1920 Wardle, Mrs., 4 Olive-lane^ Wavertree 

■j-Mar. 15, 1920 Whiteway, Mrs., 9 Montpelier-terrace, Upper 

April 1, 1901 Wilberforce, Prof. L. E., M.A., 5 Ashfield- 
road, Aigburth, Ex-President 

Oct. 31, 1921 Winter, Harry, St. Dogmaels, 23 Walton- 

+Nov. 20, 1922 Winter, Mrs. H., St. Dogmaels, 23 Walton- 

Oct. 19, 1914 Wright, Alfred E., Westby Haigh-road, 

+Nov. 8, 1909 W^right, Miss, 29 Greenheys-road, Princes- 

tNov. 8, 1909 Wright, Miss M. T., 29 Greenheys-road, 

Nov. 1, 1920 Ziegler, Mrs., 23 Croxteth-road 



On the Society's Roll at the close of the llUh Session. For the full 

list of the Eonorary Members from the foundation 

in 1812, sec page xxii. 


1, — 1897 Henry Longuet Longuet-Higgins, Vine Cottage 

Turvey, Bedfordshire. 
2.— 1899 Eev. G. H. Kendall, M.A., Litt.D., Dedham House, 

Dedliam, Essex, Ex-President 
3. — 1911 Hugh Eeynolds Eathbone, J. P., Greenhanh, Mossley 

4. — 1911 Eight Eev. Francis James Chavasse, D.D., LL.D., 

M.A., Oxford 
6.— 1911 Eight Hon. Augustine Birrell, P.C, K.C., M.P., 

LL.D., 70 Elm Park-road, London, S.W. 3. 
6.— 1911 Sir Dyce Duckworth, Bart., M.D., F.E.C.P., LL.D., 

28 Grosvenor-place, London, S.W. 
7.— 1911 Sir Donald MacAlister, K.C.B,, D.C.L., LL.D., 

M.D., M.A., B.Sc, F.E.C.P., F.E.G.S., 

University of Glasgoio 
8.— 1911 Eichard Caton, C.B.E., M.D., LL.D., F.E.C.P., 

J. P., 7 Sunny side, Princes-park 
9. — 1911 Professor John MacCunn, M.A., LL.D., Ben Cruach 

Lodge, Tarhet, Loch Lomond 
10.— 1911 Professor Sir Wm. Abbot Herdman, D.Sc, F.L.S., 

F.E.S., Groxteth Lodge, Liverpool 
11.— 1911 Canon John Bennet Lancelot, M.A., St. James' 

Vicarage, Birkdale 
12.-1912 Eight Hon. Edward George Villiers Stanley, P.O., 

G.C.V.O., C.B., D.L., 17th Earl of Derby, 

Knoiosley, Prescot 


13.— 1912 Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge, M.Sc, F.R.S., D.Sc, 
LL.D., M.I.E.E., Normanton House, Lake* 

14.— 1912 Sir Wm. Martin Conway, M.A., F.S.A.. F.R.G.S., 
Allirujton Castle, Maidstone 

15.— 1912 Sir Wm. Bower Forwood, K.C.B.E., D.L., J.P., 
Bromhorough Hall, Cheshire 

16.— 1912 Stuart Deacon, B.A., LL.B., J.P., Gorse Cliff, 
New Brighton 

17.— 1912 Henry Duckworth, F.L.S., F.E.G.S., F.G.S., J.P., 
Grey Friars, Chester 

18.— 1912 Professor Andrew Cecil Bradley, LL.D., LittD , 
M.A., 54 Scarsdale-villas, Kensington, W. 

19.-1912 Professor Edward Jenks, B.C.L., M.A., 9 Old- 
square, Lincoln's Inn, W.C. 

20.-1918 Rev. Edmund Alfred Wesley, M.A., Benlake, New- 
land, Malvern Link, Ex-President 

21.-1919 His Honour Judge A. P. Thomas, J.P., LL.D., 
B.A., Homervood, Holly-road, Fairfield 

22.-1921 J. George Adami, C.B.E., M.D., F.R.S., LL.D., 
D.Sc, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liver- 

23.— 1922 Eight Hon. Frederick Edwin Smith, Earl of Bir- 
kenhead, P.C, D.L., D.C.L., LL.D., 32 
Gro&venor Gardens, London, S.M'. 1 

24.-1923 Eight Hon. the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, 
K.T., LL.D., F.S.A., Haigh Hall, Wigan, 

25.-1923 Sir William W. Eutherford, Bart., J.P., 48 Cannon- 
street, London, E.C. 

26.-1924 The Very Eev. W. E. Inge, C.V.O., D.D., St 
Paul's Deanery, London 


OF THE SOCIETY IN 1812 TO 1924. 

The Honorary Members were — prior to 1862 — called 
Corresponding Members. After 1862 they were called 
Honorary Members only, although an order of Corre- 
sponding Members was again instituted in 1867. Many 
of these Honorary Members, from 1812 to this date, have 
taken an active part in the Society's proceedings ; many 
of them being ordinary full members, this membership 
being replete with men of distinction in science, literature, 
and philosophy. 

If more data could be placed on record regarding all 
the members, a deeper insight into the work of the Society 
could be given. Many names will be readily recognised 
in this list of Honorarv Members. 

Date of Election to Ordinary Membership in Parenthesis. 

1. — 1812. Rev. Francis Parkmau. 

2.— 1812. Thomas Strickland. 

3. — 1812. Professor John Murray, M.D. 

4.— 1812. Alex. Marcet, M.D. 

5.— 1812. William Henry, M.D., F.R.S. 

6. — 1812. Rev. James Corry. 

7.— 1812. Peter Mark Roget, M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S., F.G.S., 
F.R.A.S., F.R.G.S. 

8.— 1812. Benjamin Rush, M.D. 

9.— 1812. Rev. Richard Warner. 

10.— 1814. Rev. William Buckland, D.D. (Dean of Westminster), 

F.R.S., F.L.S., F.G.S. 

11.— 1814. Gabriel De Lys, M.D. 

12.-1814. Alexander Blair, LL.D. 

13.— 1815. Robert Roscoe. 

14.-1815. Edmund Aiken. 

15.-1815. B. S. Barton, M.D. 

16.— 1815. Henry F. P. W. Hole (1812). 


17.— 1816. J. IVaill l^rquhart. 

18.— 1816. (Jeoige Cummiiig, M.D., L.R.C.P. 

19. — 1816. Thomas Stackhouse. 

20.-1816. John Wakefield Francis, M.D. 

21.-1816. Walter Hamilton (1812). 

22.-1816. D. Hosack. 

23.-1816. Lieut. Nicol Spence. 

24.-1817. John Bradbury. 

25.-1817. John Bostock, M.D., F.R.S., F.G.S., F.R.A.S., F.L.S., 

M.R.S.L. (1812). 

26.— 1817. George Cantrell. 

27.— 1818. Willis Earle, Junior (1812). 

28.— 1819. Le Chevalier Masclet. 

29.— 1819. Thomas Campbell (Poet). 

30. 1819. John Stanley, M.D. 

31.-1820. Captain William Scoresby, R.N., F.R.S., D.D. 

32.-1820. Joseph Carne, F.R.S., F.G.S., M.R.I. A. 

33.-1820. Captain M. Cowan, R.N. 

34.-1820. Wolstcnholme Parr. 

35.-1820. John Theodore Koster, M.R.A.S. (1812). 

36.-1822. Lieut. -General Alexander Dirom (1818). 

37.— 1822. Thomas Rickman (1812). 

38. — 1822. James Thomson. 

39.— 1823. James Vose, M.D. (1812). 

40.— 1823. John Reynolds (1818). 

41.— 1824. Rev. Henry Jones. 

42.— 1826. J. T. Anderton. 

43.— 1827. Rev. William Hincks (1823). 

44.— 1828. Rev. R. Brook Aspland, M.A. 

45.— 1828. John Ashton Yates, M.R.G.S. (1812). 

46.-1829. Barrow Field, F.L.S. (1827). 

47.— 1831. Charles Pope. 

48.-1832. Hon. and Rev. Edward G. Stanley. 

49.— 1832. The Right Hon. Viscount Sandon, Earl of Harrowby, K.C., 

P.C, D.C.L., F.R.S. 

50.— 1833. Rev. James Yates, M.A., F.R.S., F.G.S., F.L.S. (1812). 

51.— 1833. Thomas Stewart Traill, M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S., F.G.S. 


52.-1833. William McDowell Tartt (1817). 

53.-1835. George Patten, A.R.A. 

54.-1835. William Ewart, M.P. 

55.-1835. Samuel Angell. 

56.-1835. Henry, Lord Brougham and Vaux, D.C.L., M.A., F.R.S. 

57.— 1835. The Right Hon. the Earl of Derby, M.R.S.L. 

58. — 1835. The Right Hon. I^ord Francis Egerton, Earl of EUesmere, 

M.P., F.R.A.S.. F.G.S., F.L.S., F.S.A., D.C.L. 

59.— 1835. Edwin Rickman (1821). 

60.-1836. Lieut. H. B. Robinson. 

61.-1836. The Right Hon. the Earl of Mount Norria, M.R.S.L. 

62.— 1836. Le Chevalier de Kirkhoff. 

63. — 1836. Professor H. Cavaliere Manin. 

64. — 1836. John Rosson. 

65.-1836. His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, K.G., M.A., F.R.S., 


66.— 1837. The Right Hon. the Earl of Burlington, M.A., LL.D., 

F.R.S., F.R.G.S., F.L.S., M.R.LA.. F.G.S. 

67.-1839. Sir George B. Airy, M.A., D.C.L., M.R.LA., F.R.A.S., 

F.R.S., F.C.P.S. 


James Nasmyth, F.R.A.S. 

Richard Duncan Macintosh (1838). 

Charles Bryce, M.D. (1834). 

Thomas Henry lUidge (1838). 

William J. Dixon (1833). 

William B. Carpenter, M.D., M.R.C.S., F.R.S., F.G.S., 

Professor T. Alger. 
Signor L. Bellardi. 
George Chaytor. 

Professor Edward Forbes, F.R.S., F.G.S., F.L.S. 
Thomas B. Hall. 
William Ick, F.G.S. 
W^illiam A. Jevons. 

Professor T. Rymer Jones, F.R.S., F.Z.S., F.L.S. 
J. Beete Jukes, M.A., F.R.S., M.R.LA., F.G.S. 
Sir Charles Lemon, Bart., M.A., F.R.S., F.G.S. 
Signor Michelotti. 
II Cavaliere Carlo Passerini. 
Robert Patterson, F.R.S., M.R.LA. 
Professor Montagu Lyon Phillips (1838). 
Peter Rvlauds, M.P. 
T. B. Salter, M.D., M.R.C.S., F.L.S. 
Professor John Scouler, M.D., LL.D., F.L.S. 
John Tomkinson. 
W. H. White, M.B.S. 

Professor Baden Powell, M.A., F.R.S., F.R.A.S., F.G.S. 
Sir W. Rowan Hamilton, LL.D., M.R.LA., F.R.S. 
Rev. Thomas Corser, M.A. 
Professor Thomas Nuttall, F.L.S. 
Rev. Canon St. Vincent Beechey, M.A. 
James Smith, F.R.S., F.G.S., F.R.G.S. 
Rev. Robert Bickerseth Mayor, M.A., F.C.P.S. 
Henry Clarke Pidgeon (1844). 
George Johnston, M.D., LL.D., F.R.C.S. 
William Reynolds (1829). 
Thomas Spencer (1840). 

Rev. James Booth, LL.D., M.R.LA., F.R.S. (1844). 
Thomas Joseph Hutchinson, F.R.G.S., F.R.S., F.P.S., 

Sir William Brown, Bart., J.P. 
Louis Agassiz. 

Sir WMlliam Fairbairn, Bart., LL.D., F.R.S. 
Rev. Thomas P. Kirkman, M.A., F.R.S. 
The Right Rev. H. N. Stalev, D.D. 
Sir Edward J. Reed, K.C.B. 
John Edward Gray Ph.D., F.R.S. 
Professor George RoUeston, M.D., F.R.S. 
Cuthbert Collingwood, M.A., M.B., M.R.C.P., F.L.S. 

Sir J. W. Dawson, LL.D., F.R.S., F.G.S. 
Captain Sir James Anderson. (Laid Atlantic Telegraph 

Cahle.) (1861). 
Charles Dickens. ^ 

Professor Dr. Richm. 
Professor Dr. Schlottman. 

Rev. Christian David Ginsberg, LL.D., J.P. (1861). 
Professor Thomas Henry Huxley, LL.D., F.R.S. 














































































































122.— 1870. Professor John Tyndall, LL.D., F.R.S. 

123.— 1870. Professor \V. J. M. Rankine. 

124.— 1870. Sir Roderick J. Murchism, Bart., K.C.B. 

125.— 1870. Ri^ht Hon. Sir John Lubbock, Lord Aveburj', P.C, 

D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S., D.L. 
126.-1870. Professor Sir Henrv E. Roscoe, F.R.S. 
127.— 1870. Professor Joseph kenrv. 
128.— 1870. J. Gwyn Jeffreys, F.R.S. 
129.— 1870. Sir Joseph D. Hooker, O.M., M.D., D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S., 

130.-1870. Professor Sir Charles Wyville Thompson, F.R.S. 
131.— 1870. Professor Brown-Seguard, M.D. 
132. — 1874. Professor Alexander Aggassiz. 
133.-1874. Profi-ssor F. H. Max Miiller, LL.D. 
134.-1874. Sir Samuel W. Baker. 
135.-1877. Professor F. V. Havdon, M.D. 
136.-1877. Albert C. L. G. Gunther, M.A., F.R.S., ^LD., Ph.D., 

LL.D. (1867), 
137.— 1877. Alfred Higginson, M.R.C.S. (1836). 
138.— 1877. Lord Lindsay, M.P., F.R.S., F.R.A.S. (Earl of Crawford 

and Balcarres). 
139.-1877. Adolnhus Ernst, M.D. 
140.— 1877. Dr. Leidy. 
141.— 1877. Franz Steinachner. 

142.-1877. Canon H. B. Tristram, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S. 
143.— 1877. Count Pourtales. 

144.— 1880. Joseph Maver, F.S.A., F.R.A.S., F.E.S. (1844). 
145.-1881. Rev. Willikm Henrv Dallinger, D.Sc, D.C.L., LL.D., 

F.R.S., F.R.M'S. (1870). 
146.-1881. H. J. Carter, F.R.S. 
147.— 1881. Rev. Thomas Hincks, B.A., F.R.S. 
148.-1892. Thomas John Moore, F.Z.S.. F.L.S. (1859). 
149.— 1895. Rev. James Martineau (1833). 
150.-1895. William Ihne, Ph.D. (1850). 

151.— 1896. Isaac- Roberts, F.R.S., F.G.S., F.R.A.S., F.R.G.S. (1869). 
152.— 1897. Hein-v Longuet Longuet-Higgins. (1879). 
153.-1898. Rev."G. H. Rendall, M.A.. Litt.D., LL.D. (1881). 
154.-1901. Professor Walter W. Skeat, D.C.L., Litt.D.. LL.D., Ph.D. 
155.-1901. Richard Garnett, LL.D., C.B. 
156.-1903. Edward Davies, F.C.S., F.I.C. (1866). 
157. 1908. William Carter. M.D..LL.B.,B.Sc., F.R.C.P..J.P. (1872). 
158.— 1908. I>ord Russell of Liverpool. (Edward R. Russell.) (1872). 
159.— 1911. Hugh R. Rathbone. J.P., M.A. 
160.-1911. Right Rev. F. J. Chavasse, M.A., D.D., LL.D. (Lord 

Bishop of Liverpool.) (1900). 
161.-1911. Right Rev. William Boyd Carpenter, D.D., D.C.L., D.Litt. 

(Lord Bishop of Ripon.) 
162.— 1911. Rev. Charles William Stubbs, D.D. (Lord Bishop of 

Truro.) (1889). 
163—1911. Richt Hon. Augustine Birrell, P.C. K.C.. M.P., LL.D. 
164.-1911. Sir Dvce Duckworth, Bart., M.D., F.R.C.P., LL.D. 

165.-1911. Sir Donald Macalister. K.C.B., D.C.L.. LL.D.. M.D. 
166.-1911. Sir Alfred W. W. Dale. M.A., LL.D., J.P. (1899). 
167.-1911. Sir Walter Raleigh, K.C.B. , M.A. 
168.-1911. Sir William Watson, LL.D. 
169. — 1911. Mrs. Humphrev (Marv Augusta) Ward. 
170.-1911. Professor John MacCilnn, M.A., LL.D. (1882). 


171.— 1911. Professor Sir William A. Herdman, D.Sc, F.R.S., P.L.S. 

172.— 1911. Richard Caton, M.D., LL.D., F.R.C.P., J.P. 
173.-1911. Miss Jessie Macgregor (1883). 
174._1911. Canon John B. Lancelot, M.A. (1901). 
175.-1912. Right Hon. Edward George Villiers Stanley, P.C, 

G.C.V.O., C.B.D.L., 17th Earl of Derby. 
176.-1912. Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge, M.Sc, F.R.S.,"^ D.Sc, LL.D., 

M.I.E.E. (1881). 
177. 1912. Sir W. Martin Conwav, M.A., F.S.A., F.R.G.S. (1885). 
178.— 1912. Sir William Bower Forwood, K.C.B.E., D.L., J.P. (1872). 
179.— 1912. Henry Jevons, J.P. (1847). 
180.-1912. Andrew Commins, A.M., LL.D. (1863). 
181.-1912. Stuart Deacon, B.A., LL.B., J.P. 

182.-1912. Henrv Duckworth, J.P., F.L.S., F.R.G.S., F.G.S. (1856). 
183.— 1912. Professor Andrew Cecil Bradley, LL.D., Litt.D., M.A. 

184.— 1912. Profesor Edward Jenlcs, :\I.A., B.C.L. (1893). 
185.— 1912.— Professor Robert Traill Omond, F.R.S.E. 
186.-1912. Rev. John Sephton, M.A. (1866). 
187.-1916. Rev. Edward Hicks, D.D., D.C.L. (1906). 
188.-1918. Rev. Edmund Alfred Weslev, M.A. (1896). 
189.-1919. His Honour Judge A. P. 'Thomas, J.P., LL.B., B.A. 

190.— 1921. J. George Adami, C.B.E., M.D., F.R.S., LL.D., D.Sc. 
191.— 1922. Right Hon. Frederick Edwin Smith, Earl of Birkenhead, 

P.C, D.L., D.C.L., LL.D. 
192.-1923. Right Hon. the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, K.T., 

LL.D., F.S.A. 
193.-1923. Sir William W. Rutherford, Bart, J.P. (1883). 
194.— 1924. The Verv Rev. W. R. Lige, C.V.O., D.D. 

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Royal Institution, Liverpool. 


The Annual Meeting of the Society was held on 
Monday, the 17th October, 1921. The retiring President, 
Sir James Barr, occupied the chair. The Report of the 
Council was read by the Honorary Secretary, and this, 
together with the Financial Statement presented by the 
Honorary Treasurer, was duly adopted. 


The One Hundred and Tenth Session of the Society 
(1920-21) was presided over by Sir James Barr, C.B.E., 
D.L., M.D., LL.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S.E., whose inaugural 
address, entitled "The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant," 
and his participation in the discussions on the various 
lectures and addresses, were of exceptional interest to the 
proceedings throughout the Session. 

The lectures and literary papers contributed by mem- 
bers and visitors have been in every way worthy of the 
Society's past record. 


The steady growth of tlie Society as regards member- 
ship, and its widening sphere of influence in the city are 
gratifying, and your Council hope that members and 
associates will continue to use their influence for the 
welfare of the Society. 

The attendance at the meetings averaged 147. 

During the year the Society has sustained the loss by 
death of Sir Alfred Dale an Honorary Member, the Rev. 
Alexander Connell, and Miss Hetty Wilson. 

Officers for the Session were then elected as follows: — 
Vice-President — Thomas H. Bickerton, J.P,, L.R.C.P., 
M.R.C.S. Honorary Treasurer — John "\V. Thompson, B.A. 
Honorary Librarian — Eev. K. E. Keith, M.A. Honorary 
Secretary — Edward A. Bryant. Keeper of the Records — 
Alfred W. Newton, M.A., 

The following members were elected to serve on the 
Council in place of those retiring: — Miss H. S.English, 
Mr. W. J. B. Ashley, Mr. William H. Jacobsen, Mr. Ralph 
T. Bodey, M.A., and the following were reappointed to 
serve thereon : — Mr. Bertram B. Benas, Dr. William H. 
Broad, Mr. J. Hamilton Gibson, Miss Florence RoUo, Rev. 
I. Raffalovich, and Dr. H. Grattan Johnston. 

On the motion of Mr. A. Theodore Brown, seconded by- 
Mr. W. J. B. Ashley, a cordial vote of thanks was tendered 
to Sir James Barr for the happy manner in which he had 
conducted the duties of the chair during his period of 
office. Sir James Barr having suitably replied, requested 
the new President, Colonel J. M. McMaster, C.M.G., V.D., 
to take the chair. 

Colonel McMaster then delivered his Inaugural Address, 
entitled *• The War — and After." A resolution of thanks 
to the President for his most interesting paper was moved 
by Sir James Barr, seconded by His Honour Judge 


Thomas, supported by Dr. Thomas Stevenson, and carried 
unanimously. This paper is printed in this volume. 

It was at this meeting that Mr. William J. B. Ashley 
laid down the reigns of office of Honorary Secretary which 
he had held for eight years, 191B-14 to 1920-'21, during 
which period he gave unsparingly of his time, energy, and 
thought. Mr. Ashley took office soon after the Centenary 
Celebrations, and his great interest in widening the 
influence of the Society was a marked feature. 

The deepest and best thanks are given to Mr. Ashley 
for his work carried on, mainly, through the difficult years 
of the Great War, 1914-18. 


II. 31st October, 1921. The President occupied the 
chair, and introduced our Honorary Member, Sir Oliver 
Lodge, M.Sc, F.R.S., D.Sc, LL.D., M.I.E.E., who 
delivered an address, entitled "Relativity." This address, 
taken down by a stenographer and transcribed from short- 
hand notes, is printed in this volume of Proceedings. 

Miss Ida Coventry, Mrs. Amy Apalyras, Dr. Thomas 
Stevenson, and Mr. Harry Winter were elected members 
of the Society. 

III. 14th November, 1921. The President occupied 
the chair. Our member, Mr. William H. Jacobsen read a 
paper entitled "The Plain Man and his Problems." This 
paper is printed in this volume. 

Mr. James Rice, Mr. Sidney Colvin, Dr. Mary B. Lee, 
and Miss Annie Lee were elected members of the Society. 

IV. 28th November, 1921. The President occupied 
the chair. Our member, Mr. Thomas L. Dodds, O.B.E., 


J. P., read a paper entitled "Queen Victoria and the 
Victorian Age." 

Monsieur Ch. P. Thomas was elected a member of 
the Society, and Miss Katherine Jones as an associate. 

V. 12th December, 1921. The President occupied 
the chair. Our member, Mr. Bertram B. Benas, B.A., 
LL.B., read a paper entitled " Leaves from a Musical Note 

Upon the proposition of Mr. C. Y. C. Dawbarn, 
seconded by Mr. T. L. Dodds, and carried unanimously, 
Dr. George J. Adami, C.B.E., M.D., F.R.S. {Vice-Chan- 
cellor of the University of Liverpool), was elected an 
Honorary Member of the Society. 

The President made sympathetic reference to our Past- 
President, Mr. Allan Heywood Bright, who had recently 
undergone an operation for cataract. To a man of such 
wide reading as ^Ir. Bright an eye affliction would be a 
great handicap. 

VI. 16th January, 1922. The President occupied the 
chair. Our member, Mr. C. Y. C. Dawbarn, M.A., read a 
paper entitled " The "Writings of Sir Francis Bacon as 
found in Cypher." 

Miss Lilian Scott was elected as an associate. 

VIL 30th January, 1922. The President presided 
over the meeting. Our member, Mr. G. H. Morton, 
M.S. A., read a paper entitled " Industrial Co-Partner- 
ship." This paper is printed in this volume. 

Miss Eda Levin was elected a member of the Society. 

VIIL 13th February, 1922. The President presided 
over the meeting. The President spoke very feelingly of 
the loss the Society had sustained by the death of Arthur 
Heywood Noble, a young man of great promise, son of 
Henry Heywood Noble a Liverpool gentleman and a 
great worker for the building of the new Liverpool Cathe- 


dral. Mr. Arthur H. Noble was also the nephew of our 
Past-President, Mr. Allan Heywood Bright. In his 
remarks the President said, *' That Mr. Arthur Noble was 
a fine type ; a splendid soldier (he took part in the Great 
War and was severely wounded), and a gentleman worthy 
of the name." These three gentlemen are descendants 
of a family which for many generations has played an 
important part in the life and public affairs of the city, 
including our Society. 

Our member, Mr. Eobert Gladstone, M.C., B.C.L., 
delivered an address, illustrated by lantern slides, entitled 
" The Corporate Seal of Liverpool : its History and 
Meaning, with suggestions for a New Corporate Seal." 

IX. 27th February, 1922. The President presided 
over the meeting. The President said he had received a 
letter from our esteemed Past-President, Canon W. E. 
Sims, which said, "With feelings of great reluctance I 
ask to be excused from reading the paper, ' The English 
Essayists,' on 27th March, which I had agreed to give." 
Ill-health was responsible for the cancellation. The 
President then announced he had asked Mr. Edward A. 
Bryant, the Honorary Secretary, to prepare a paper as 
substitute for Canon Sims. 

Our member, Mr. Alfred W. Newton, M.A., read a 
paper entitled "John Evelyn: his Life, Diary, and 

X. 13th March, 1922. The President presided over 
the meeting. The President made reference to the 
departure from Liverpool of Mr. John W. Thompson, 
Dr. Grattan Johnston, and Mr. J. Hamilton Gibson, three 
valuable members, whose personal loss at the meetings 
will be keenly felt. Sir James Barr called attention to 
the meeting of the British Association to be held in Liver- 
pool in September. The President and Honorary Secre- 


tary were deputed to act on behalf of the Society upon the 
General Committee of the Britisli Association. 

Our member, the Eev. K. E. Keith, M.A., lectured 
upon "Ancient Inscriptions in Assyria and Babylonia 
(Discovery and Decipherment)," illustrated by lantern 

XI. 27th March, 1922. The President presided over 
the meeting. The President gave the thanks of the 
Society to Mr. William H. Jacobsen for so unhesitatingly 
accepting the duties of Honorary Treasurer consequent 
upon the departure of Mr. John W. Thompson from 
the district. 

The President moved that Mr. Bertram B. Benaa, 
B.A., LL.B., be elected President of the Society for the 
ensuing Session. The motion was seconded by Mr. T. L. 
Dodds, and carried with unanimity. In accepting the 
office of President, Mr. Benas remarked that he greatly 
appreciated the honour, and called attention to the fact 
that one of his earliest recollections in life was the 
Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool. His 
father was President for the years 1890-91 and 1891-92. 
Father and son holding the office of President is unique 
in the annals of the Society. 

The President then called upon Mr. Edward A. Bryant 
(Honorary Secretary) to read his paper entitled " The 
Unfolding of Mental Power : from the Earliest Times to 
the Present Day ; with special reference to Greek thought 
as the Mental Watershed of Civilisation." 

Miss L. M. Taylor and Miss M. A. Taylor were elected 
as associates. 

Attendances at the meetings during the Session 
were:— Annual Meeting, 73; Ordinary Meetings, 720, 75, 
78, 72, 47, 61, 82, 55, 95, 92. 



Royal Institution, Liverpool. 

The Annual Meeting of the Society was held on 
Monday, the 16th October, 1922. The retiring President, 
Col. J. M. McMaster, occupied the chair. The Report of 
the Council was read by the Honorary Secretary, and 
this, together with the Financial Statement presented by 
the Honorary Treasurer, was duly adopted. 


The One Hundred and Eleventh Session (1921-22) 
marked the opening of a new decade of the Society's 
activities, and was characterized by a reversion to the 
older practice of looking to the members of the Society 
as the main source of the contribution to the Sessional 
Syllabus, the whole of the eleven addresses being delivered 
by our own members. 

The Society was presided over by Colonel J. M. 
McMaster, C.M.G., V.D., whose inaugural address, entitled 
•* The "War and After," gained an added interest, having 
regard to his eminent war service and his long and loyal 
participation in the work of the Society. 

The address by Sir Oliver Lodge on " Relativity " 
captivated the great assembly present, being proclaimed 
as one of the most notable intellectual events of the season. 

The distinctive place which the Society occupies in the 


life of the city was emphasized to the full in the course 
of a very successful Session. 

The attendance was fully maintained. 

During the year the Society has lost by death Sir 
Walter Raleigh, an Honorary Member, a scholar with 
whom our City and Society were proud to claim personal 
association, and Arthur H. Noble a promising young 
member, whose early death is greatly deplored. 

Officers for the Session were then elected as follows : — 
Vice-President-Thomas H. Bickerton, J.P., L.R.C.P., 
M.R.C.S. Honorary Treasurer — William H. Jacobsen. 
Honorary Librarian— Rev. K. E. Keith, M.A. Honorary 
Secretary — Edward A. Bryant. Keeper of the Records — 
Rev. K. E. Keith. 

The following members were elected to serve on the 
Council in place of those retiring : — Dr. Mary Ivens, 
M.B., M.S., Mr. Samuel Brookfield, Mr. Alfred W. 
Newton, M.A., Mr. William Wardle, and Mr. Walter P. 
Forster, and the following were reappointed to serve 
thereon : — Miss H. S. English, Rev. I. Raflfalovich, Dr. 
W. H. Broad, Miss Florence Rollo, and Mr. R. T. Bodey. 

The retiring President then gave very warm thanks to 
two old members who have done yeoman service for the 
Literary and Philosophical Society, viz., Mr. John W. 
Thompson, B.A., and Mr. Alfred W. Newton, M.A. Mr. 
Thompson's membership dates back to 1878, and he has 
held official positions during the greater part of that time ; 
his departure to live in the Lake District makes it neces- 
sary for him to relinquish an official position. Mr. 
Newton's membership dates back to 1896 ; he has done 
invaluable work for the Society. 

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool (Alderman Charles H. 
Rutherford), an old member of the Society, accompanied 


by his daughter, graced the proceedings by their presence ; 
the Lord Mayor wore his chain of office, thereby giving 
civic distinction as well as private affection to the Society. 

On the motion of Mr. A. Theodore Brown, seconded by 
Mr. C. Y. C. Dawbarn, it was unanimously carried that 
the warmest thanks be tendered to Colonel McMaster for 
the assiduous care and attention he had given to his 
Presidential duties during his year of office. 

Colonel McMaster, vacating the chair, introduced the 
new President, Mr. Bertram B. Benas, B.A., LL.B., who 
thereupon delivered his Inaugural Address entitled 
" Philosophical Aspects of Sentiment." A resolution of 
thanks to the President for his address, full of literary 
charm and philosophy, was moved by the Lord Mayor, 
seconded by Dr. Glynn-Whittle, and carried unanimously. 
This paper is printed in this volume. 

On the motion of the President (Mr. Bertram B. 
Benas), seconded by Mr. T. L. Dodds, a cordial vote of 
thanks was tendered to the Lord Mayor for attending in 
his official capacity as chief magistrate. 

His Honour Judge H. C. Dowdall, Mr. Lawrence Hall, 
Mr. Kenneth M. Constable, Mr. George A. Lloyd, Mr. 
Alfred Hemmons, and Miss U. Sivertsen were elected 
members of the Society; Mrs. Helen A. Hemmons and 
Miss Helen Quant were elected as associates. 


II. 30th October, 1922. The President presided over 
the meeting. A vote of condolence was passed to Mrs. 
Hamilton, whose husband, Mr. Augustus Hamilton, had 
passed away since tlie last meeting. Mr. and Mrs. 
Hamilton's membership dated back to 1911. The Presi- 


dent then called upon our member, Mr. R. T. Bodey, 
M.A., to read his address entitled " Montaigne." A precis 
of this paper is printed in this volume. 

Jean, Lady liussell of Liverpool, Mrs. J. George 
Adami, Dr. John Maurice Ahern, Miss Dora Clarkson, 
Miss Shenk, Miss Mildred Penlington, and Mr. A. M. 
Brown were elected members of the Society; Mrs. J. M. 
Ahern, Miss Ada L. Hamilton, and Mrs. T. Stevenson 
were elected as associates. 

III. 6th November, 1922. The President presided 
over the meeting and introduced Dr. Adrian C. Bouit, 
M.A., Mus. Doc, who lectured upon "The Appreciation 
of Music from the Conductor's Standpoint." 

IV. 20th November, 1922. The President presided 
over the meeting. Upon the motion of the President, 
seconded by Sir James Barr, and carried unanimously, 
the Right Hon. the Earl of Birkenhead was elected an 
Honorary Member of the Society. A vote of congratula- 
tion was also accorded to Earl Birkenhead upon the 
conferring upon him of an Earldom. 

A vote of sympathy was then passed to our Honorary 
Member, Sir William Herdman, in the loss which he had 
sustained by the death of his wife. 

The President then called upon our member. Judge 
H. C. Dowdall, K.C., M.A., B.C.L., to deliver his address 
entitled " The Theory of the State." Judge Dowdall 
referred to the fact that his father had given an address 
before the Society in the same building in the year 1835, 
the subject being whether philosophers or poets had done 
most for the country. 

Mr. Stanley Moore was elected a member of the 
Society; Mrs. Cartmel and Mrs. Harry Winter were 
elected as associates. 

V. 4th December, 1922. The President presided 


over the meeting. Our member, Mr. Theodore Brown, 
read a paper on *' Sir Anthony Panizzi." This paper is 
printed in this volume. 

VI. 8th January, 1923. The President presided over 
the meeting. Mr. S. E. Dodds, M.A., LL.B., read Lis 
father's paper (Mr. T. L. Dodds) entitled "The Nine- 
teenth Century." Mr, T. L. Dodds was prevented from 
reading his own paper by his having caught a severe chill. 

VII. 22nd January, 1923. The President presided 
over the meeting. This date marked the revival of the 
Roscoe Lecture, instituted 50 years ago. The Lord Mayor 
of Liverpool (Mr. Frank C. Wilson) was present. 

The Honorary Secretary, before reading the current 
minutes, read from an old Minute Book of 105 years ago 
a descriptive letter in which William Koscoe accepted the 
Presidency of the Literary and Philosophical Society. 

The Lord Mayor then welcomed to the city our 
lecturer, the Right Hon. the Earl of Crawford and Bal- 
carres, whose father was an Honorary Member of our 

The President then called upon the Right Hon. the 
Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, K.T., LL.D., F.S.A., to 
deliver the Roscoe Lecture, which was entitled "William 
Roscoe and Problems of To-day." 

Upon the proposition of Vice-Chancellor Dr. J. G. 
Adami, seconded by His Honour Judge H. C. Dowdall, 
and carried unanimously, a cordial vote of thanks was 
tendered to the lecturer for his delightfully broad and 
cultured lecture. This lecture is printed in this volume. 

Mr. S. R. Dodds was elected a member of the Society. 

VIII. 5th February, 1928. The President presided 
over the meeting. The President introduced Professor 
P. M. Roxby, B.A. {Professor of Geography in the Uni- 
versity of Liverpool), who delivered an address entitled 


" Some Intellectual and Political Tendencies in Modern 
China," illustrated with lantern slides. 

IX. 19th February, 1923. The President presided 
over the meeting. The President called upon our Hon- 
orary Member, Dr. J. George Adami, C.B.E., M.D., 
Jb\R.S., F.E.C.P., to read his paper entitled " Science in 
Relation to Literature and Philosophy." In his opening 
remarks the President spoke of the practical help and 
interest which Dr. Adami had given to the affairs of the 
Society. This paper is printed in this volume. 

X. 5th March, 1923. The President presided over 
the meeting. On the proposition of the President (Mr. 
Bertram B. Benas), seconded by Mr. R. T. Bodey, and 
carried unanimously, the Right Hon. the Earl of Craw- 
ford and Balcarras, K.T., LL.D., F.S.A., was elected an 
Honorary Mertiber. The President read a communication 
received from our Honorary Member and one time Hon- 
orary Secretary, Mr. H. Longuet Higgins. The com- 
munication put forward ideas that Liverpool is of Hellenic 

Our Honorary Member, Dr. Richard Caton, C.B.E., 
M.D., F.R.C.P., J. P., then gave his address entitled 
" Comparisons between Ancient Greek and Modern Eng- 
lish Civilisation," illustrated with lantern slides. 

XI. 19th March, 1923. The President presided over 
the meeting. On the motion of Mr. T. L. Dodds, 
seconded by Mr. C. Y. C. Dawbarn, and carried with 
unanimity, Mr. Ralph T. Bodey, M.A., was elected Presi- 
dent for the coming Session. In accepting the oflfice 
Mr. Bodey expressed his deep appreciation and the honour 
he felt it was in being elected President of this old and 
important Society. 

Our member, Mr. Harry Winter, then read a paper 
entitled " Chaucer and his Times." 


Mrs. Jessica Walker Stephens, Mr. Henry £. Stephens, 
and Mr. F. E. Tillemont-Thomason were elected members 
of the Society. 

Attendances at the meetings during the Session 
were :— Annual Meeting, 110 ; Ordinary Meetings, 60, 93, 
103, 63, 68, 650, 86, 83, 102, 75. 


The Literary and Philosophical Society is able to 
record a most successful Session. It has regained strength 
by following the lines of development laid down by 
tradition. The sessional contributors were, in all but two 
instances, members of the Society — and in both cases 
there were family ties which made the link personal, and 
in one of the instances the Honorary Membership of the 
ancestor has descended through the participation of the 

The Papers, Addresses, and Lectures covered a repre- 
sentative range of subjects, and the discussions were well 
maintained. The cordial relationship of the Society with 
the civic and academic spheres has been reaffirmed by the 
visit of two Chief Magistrates during their tenures of 
office and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, the then 
Lord Mayor, Alderman Charles H. Kutherford, J. P., 
attending the opening meeting of the Session and pro- 
posing the vote of thanks to the President (Mr. Bertram 
B. Benas), for his Presidential Address, and the present 
Lord Mayor (Mr. F. C. Wilson, J.P.) attending on the 
occasion of the Eoscoe Lecture, welcoming the Roscoe 
Lecturer, the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, on behalf of 
the city. The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr. J. 
George Adami, F.R.S., has actively interested himself in 


the work of the Society, giving the Executive most 
vahied help and support in the revival of the Roscoe 
Lectureship — a revival which has been the outstanding 
institutional feature of the Session. The Society was very 
fortunate in the acceptance by Lord Crawford of the 
invitation to deliver the Roscoe Lecture, a foundation 
which, after the lapse of very many years, was felicitously 
revived on the occasion of the Jubilee of its establishment. 

One of the most representative gatherings of the local 
civic and academic life attended on this occasion to hear 
a discourse which as literature, as history, and as an 
inspirational force for the betterment of the city has been 
widely acclaimed and eagerly welcomed as a lofty call to 
further efforts towards the realisation of the highest ideals 
of cultivated citizenship. The traditions of the Society 
have further anabled development to proceed along well- 
tried paths, and a happy re-introduction of a communica- 
tion to the Society suggests a useful method for bringing 
the fruits of current literary and philosophical scholarship, 
whether from the University or elsewhere, to the notice of 
the members of the Society. 

The membership of the Society shows an encouraging 
net increase, and valued accessions to the Society are to 
be noted. Two Honorary Members have been elected — 
the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres and the Earl of 
Birkenhead. It is interesting to note that Lord Crawford's 
father was elected to the Honorary Membership of the 
Society in the year 1877, and that Lord Birkenhead 
accepted nomination during his distinguished Lord 
Chancellorship. Lady Russell of Liverpool joined the 
Society during the Session, and her membership is greatly 
appreciated, restoring to the rolls of the Society the name 
of one of its most distinguished Presidents, the late Lord 
Russell of Liverpool. His Honour Judge Dowdall, K.C., 


joined the Society, contributing to the sessional syllabus, 
and participating on other occasions in the proceedings of 
the meetings. » 

The Society, by its representatives, took part in the 
work of the British Association on the occasion of its visit 
to Liverpool, and cordially co-operated with the local 
scientific societies in the Soiree of exhibits held earlier in 
the year, and in the endeavours made towards a more 
systematic method of associational co-operation. 

The name of Sir W. Watson Eutherford, Bart., will 
be presented to the Society for election to the Honorary 
Membership. Sir Watson has been a member of the 
Society continuously for over forty years. His services to 
the Society in the earlier years of his membership when 
resident in Liverpool, and particularly his active partici- 
pation as Lord Mayor on the occasion of the inauguration 
of the University of Liverpool, will be well recollected. 

The Society mourns the loss during the year of two 
members whose association dates back to 1867 and 1870 
respectively. Dr. E. K. Muspratt and Mr. James Smith, 
both men of marked ability who have used their powers 
and means for the good of their fellow men, and 
another esteemed member of the Society in the person of 
Mr. Augustus Hamilton. The death of one of our Past 
Presidents, Canon W. E. Sims, has created a deeply-felt 
void in our ranks. He was President four times ; con- 
tributed largely and valuably to our published Proceed- 
ings ; was active in the discussions, and gave much time 
and energy to the well-being of the Society. 

During the Session a most valued donation of £50 was 
made to the Society by its Vice-President, Mr. Bickerton. 
The members will deeply appreciate this signal testimony 
of interest in, and affection for, the Society, and the great 
cause which it seeks to serve and uphold. 






P A P E K S 




By colonel J. M. McMASTER, C.M.G., 


On being called to the Presidential Chair of this Society I 
desire to express my grateful acknowledgments to the 
members who have conferred on me this honour in recog- 
nition not of any merit, but of a long period of member- 
ship and interest in the work of the Society. I am follow- 
ing distinguished and learned men, and my only claim 
is upon your indulgence. 

The Great War has been much written about for years 
past, and it is doubtful if I can add one idea in any aspect 
that has not already been given expression to from a 
hundred points of view. But I have chosen it for the 
reason that I was privileged to take a part in the great 
struggle as an item in the contribution of Liverpool to 
Britain's armed might. 

It chanced that in the month of August, now more than 
seven years past (so soon do even big events pass away!), 
I was in command of an Infantry Battalion of the Terri- 
torial Force. On the 5th of that month, waiting in expecta- 
tion at the headquarters of that unit, I received a telegram 
bearing the one word " Mobilise." 

That order involves the passing of the troops to whom 
it refers from a peace footing to a war footing. To Terri- 
torial soldiers who are citizens following their civil occupa- 
tions and living at their homes this change involves more 
than in the case of regular troops in breaking off all their 
ordinary civilian life. 


The arrangements for mobilisation made in advance are 
elaborate and detailed, embracing directions for the imme- 
diate action of every man and every rank. 

That order reached my hands about five o'clock on the 
afternoon of the 5th August, 1914, and already by nine 
o'clock on the morning of the following day no less than 
90 per centum of the men to whom the order related had 
reported themselves at the Headquarters of the Battalion 
and were ready for the great adventure, the remainder 
following in due course. It was a very fine response, 
remarkable for the alacrity with which the summons was 
obeyed, and was a legitimate ground for much satisfaction. 

From the moment of mobilsation intense military 
activity prevailed and much movement and great silence, 
whilst our tiny Expeditionary Force crossed the sea and 
moved up to Mons to encounter the first wave of the 

As this is not a history of the War, my personal 
experiences require apology for many trivialities. After 
mobilisation the Battalion under my command was at once 
placed on military guard of the Liverpool Dock system 
and later, when relieved of that duty by a special reserve 
Battalion of the Liverpool Regiment, of certain defences 
of the port and was again assembled at Liverpool on 
Sunday, August 9th. On that day I invited all ranks of 
the Battalion (who, it must be remembered, were enlisted 
for home defence only) to offer themselves voluntarily for 
service abroad. The response was immediate, and that 
day the offer of the Battalion, complete in every rank, for 
service in any part of the world was in the hands of the 
War Office. Needless to say, the offer was accepted, and 
after service in the Thames Valley and Kent the Battalion 
received its warning to be in readiness to proceed over- 
seas. The order came one evening at six o'clock, and the 


following day the Battalion embarked for France on three 
transports with all its impedimenta and when darkness fell 
put to sea under the escort of two warships. 

I stood on the deck that night to try and imagine what 
was in store for the i,ioo men I had under my command. 
How many of us are destined to return to England? 
Why are we going ? Will our thin line hold ? Will the 
invaders, finding their hopes of rapid and easy victory 
unrealised, retire and await another opportunity? But 
muse as one will the flotilla moves on, the three transports, 
the two escorting warships, the i,ioo men! Then came 
the disembarkation and the march through a French 
town where every man felt himself the embodiment of 
English resolution to deliver France from her despoiling 
invader. A railway journey of lOO miles brought us to 
the Belgian frontier, and on detraining at the ancient 
town of Bethune the sound of big guns booming was the 
exhilarating evidence that the enemy was close at hand. 
The French barracks gave shelter that night and a village 
in the neighbourhood the next, then the trenches and a 
first sight of the Germans. 

My first tour of the trenches was made with the Colonel 
commanding the ist Battalion of the Kings Royal Riflles 
who afterwards commanded the British Forces in East 
Africa, and the first Germans in sight were the bodies of 
many lying in the No Man's Land between the lines, the 
grim relics of a defeated advance. The Battalion I com- 
manded had the good fortune to be incorporated in the 6th 
Brigade of the famous 2nd Division, then under the com- 
mand of General Home, a distinguished officer who after- 
wards rose to command an army and is now Lord H^ ne. 
I state these details in order to make acknowledgme of 
the most kindly and friendly reception my Batl. on 
received from General Home and all the regular Batt n 


Commanders and officers. I had the satisfaction of serv- 
ing in that Brigade during the whole period of my service 
in France. 

I can only relate impressions. One is that there was 
no personal animosity against the Germans as soldiers or 
as individuals and a firm conviction that man for man they 
were inferior to the British troops. Fritz and Jerry were 
then half contemptuous but far from spiteful names 
applied to the enemy. As a concomitant of those admirable 
if temperamental opinions was the extraordinary abiding 
cheerfulness and good humour of the men. It was not 
the lightheartedness of ignorance or irresponsibility but 
the serenity of strong, confident men. The exacting 
duties of trench life were carried put day by day and 
night by night with a tenacity and doggedness which are 
perhaps characteristic of our race. Life in the trenches 
has often been described, and the vivid recollections of it 
will never be effaced from the memory of those who have 
experienced it. It was a time of intense and constant 
vigilance. Projectiles either aimed at definite objects or 
searching an area methodically fly through the air without 
cessation, taking toll of life or limb or passing as it may 
chance harmlessly to earth. 

Observation of the German line — a very few hundred 
yards at most, and generally much less — was kept by day 
by means of periscopes and by small mirrors placed above 
the level of the ground on the back part of the trench— 
the parados— and by night by double sentries, who stood 
up remaining motionless and silent. In the darkness the 
lights fired from special pistols provided a firework display 
in the space between the opposing lines probably never 
before seen, and certainly not on such a scale. The line 
from the sea to the Swiss frontier, 500 miles in extent, 
was the scene of this standing warfare. 


The working maps for ordinary daily use in trenches 
were in the nature of hand sketches and in the British Hnes 
were designated by familiar names redolent of home. 
Harley Street, known by thousands for its field ambulance 
station, gave entrance to Hartford Street, a long com- 
munication trench leading to Liverpool Street, passing by 
Morphia Street, well named for its dressing station, to 
Old Kent Road, Seymour Street, Oxford Street, Regent 
Street, and a host of others. 

The French nomenclature was, as may be imagined, 
much more scientific. Their trenches or boyeaux were 
indicated by letters and numbers. But trenches did not 
lend themselves to ready recognition by consecutive 
numbers, for they ran in all kinds of confused directions, 
and the British soldiers quickly gave to French trenches 
taken over by them on extensions of our lines of frontage 
names they could remember, which were soon recognised 

The War has been the occasion of some strange 
reversions to more primitive weapons. The hand grenade 
has played quite an important part in the trenches. It is 
a dangerous weapon for the thrower and carrier. The fuse 
is released by withdrawing a pin, the explosion following 
in five seconds. Hesitation or the accidental dropping of 
the bomb would be fatal to the soldier and perhaps also 
to many of his comrades. " Hoist with his own petard " 
was no longer an anachronism. Many acts of heroic 
sacrifices are on record. 

Another curious weapon was the catapult for discharg- 
ing bombs. The propulsive energy for the catapult was 
supplied by elastic rubber strings pulled out to the required 
tension. But, alas! The rubber bands soon became slack 
and the weapon inaccurate and unreliable. It was soon dis- 
carded. I mention it only as one of the curiosities. A 


bomb could also be discharged from the service rifle by 
means of a long rod stem fitting into the barrel — a more 
effective method. 

The British section of the trench line was only 25 miles 
in extent when I went out, and the Battalion under my 
command was for a time on the extreme right of the 
British line, the first French sentry post being about 15 
paces from the British extreme right sentry post. As the 
British forces grew in number, more ground was occupied 
in relief of the French, and the Battalion under my com- 
mand moved further southward, and at Les Brebis in the 
mining district I took over a section of the line from a 
battalion of French infantry and had the opportunity of 
meeting the French Commander and his officers and of 
seeing their plans and arrangements and exchanging 
mutual courtesies. 

I remember telling the French Commander that we 
had taken 130 German prisoners in the capture of a 
German trench. He replied, " Far too many ! " The 
meaning, half jocular, was obvious and it illustrates the 
more bitter feeling held by the French Army and the 
general population than m our Army. 

I appreciate the attitude of France towards Germany 
since the war. Their land has been desolated (wantonly 
so to a large extent), and with Germany unrepentant may 
be attacked again. 

That is the nightmare of the French. The British 
position is far different. Our island home is safe and we 
want to trade as before with Germany. For this purpose 
her rehabilitation is to our advantage. This aspect of 
affairs opens up a much debated problem in economics. 
I only suggest in passing that as our own Government 
raised and expended huge sums in loans and taxation, the 
repayment of even a fraction of those sums for employ- 


ment again in our own industries and trading does not 
appear to spell ruin to those industries and trades, as one 
school of financiers and economists have insistently urged, 
nor whilst German internal taxation remains vastly less 
than our own and that of the French, is it obvious why 
Germany should continue to devote such an inadequate 
portion of her resources and taxable capacity to the dis- 
charge of her obhgations under the Treaty of Peace. It 
cannot be forgotten that during the greater part of the 
War, until the German ambitions became plainly hopeless 
of realisation, the nation was buoyed up and encouraged 
by the expectation of much plunder and ample indemni- 
ties from the conquered world. If success had crowned the 
German arms the theories alluded to would have been 
laughed to scorn by that people. 

I do not touch on the horrors of the War, which have 
been burnt into the minds and consciences of every civilised 
being who hopes for better things, and only resume 
personal reminiscences for a moment. One of the most 
pathetic sights was to see, as I occasionally did, an inscrip- 
tion over a lonely grave in or close to the trench lines, 
"An unknown French soldier " or "An unknown British 
soldier." One could only salute and pass on. The 
Unknown Warrior interred in Westminster Abbey with 
solemn rites is typical of all those known and unknown who 
willingly gave their all and whose memory will possibly 
be more revered in generations to come than in this war- 
wearied one. 

In the early days of the War the Germans were 
believed to have means of obtaining information of what 
was going on behind our lines and spy-hunting was con- 
sequently much in vogue. Frequent notices were sent 
round describing men who if seen were to be detained. 
Often they were stated to be wearing the uniform of 


British officers. And officers of our own Army who left 
their own area and were not personally known to the 
troops in the area they entered were always hable to 
suspicion unless they carried permits. 

More difficult to deal with were suspected cases of 
espionage by renegade French natives near the front line 
in areas formerly occupied by the Germans from which 
they had been driven back. 

I may give one instance. A farm house and buildings 
a mile or two behind the front line m the La Bassee 
district v/ere assigned to the Battalion I commanded for 
billets after a tour of duty in the trenches and I was asked 
to keep watch on the proprietor, who was under sus- 
picion. He had a white horse in his stables and every 
day put this horse in the shafts of a farm cart 
and took it out. The cart was always empty 
going out and empty when it returned, and on 
its round the horse was frequently halted, nega- 
tiving the probability that the animal was taken out for 
exercise only. A white horse is a conspicuous object and 
the movements apparently purposeless were suspected to 
be conformable to a pre-arranged code. It was remarked 
also that the lady of the house put her table cloths and 
sheets to dry not on lines as is usual but spread out on the 
ground, and further,that whilst every other house and 
building in the vicinity had been destroyed or damaged 
by shell fire, this house and its building were immune. I 
failed to solve the problem in the two or three days I was 

Another instance, an amusing one, in which a solution 
was soon found, was when a systematic search of all 
ruined and deserted houses resulted in a man being 
brought in attired in the uniform of a British artillery 
lieutenant. He had been taken from a place of concealment 


in the rafters of a ruined house affording a good view of the 
German lines. He proved to be a gunner observation 
officer of our own Army on duty and the nest in the rafters 
was his observation post, to which he was promptly re- 
stored after suitable explanations. 

A very pleasing episode must be my last. One day 
Lord Home, passing through our trench, remarked to me, 
" I hear you are sixty years of age." " No, sir," I replied, 
" but I shall be to-morrow." He must have circulated this, 
for on the morrow I received not only from him with a 
welcome gift, but from many other commanders telegrams 
and messages of congratulations and good wishes. Where 
life itself is cheap in the trench zone, such kindly courtesies 
are not forgotten, and I treasure them. Some months 
afterwards Lord Home, with his friendly consideration, 
suggested to me that I ought to be out of the trenches 
during the winter, and so in December, after having 
taken part in three of the major battles of the first i8 
months of the War — Neuve Chappelle, Festubert, and 
Loos — I came home, leaving with regret my gallant com- 
rades (but, alas! not the i,iooo!) behind to carry on the 
contest to the end and win for themselves much distinction. 

The following extracts from Field Marshal Lord 
French's Despatches may be of interest to others, as they 
were to me. 

No. 2, page 129 — 

I and the principal commanders serving under me consider 
that the Territorial Force has far more than justified the most 
sanguine hopes that any of us ventured to entertain of their vaUie 

and use in the field Army Corps commanders are 

loud in the praise of the Territorial Battalions which form part of 
nearly all the brigades at the front in the first line. 

Again, page 186 — 
In former despatches I have been a\)le to comment very 


favourably upon the conduct and bearing of the Territorial 
Forces throughout the operations in which they have been en- 

As time goes on, and I see more and more of their work, 
whether in the trenches or engaged in more active operations, I 
am still further impressed with their value. 

Again, page 263— 

In whatever kind of work these units have been engaged they 
have all borne an active and distinguished part, and have proved 
themselves thoroughly reliable and efficient. 

These striking tributes are worthy of record of a citizen 
force which contributed one milhon men to Britain's armed 
might. It never before had that place in pubhc estima- 
tion to which at all times it was entitled. 

The purpose of our Army is declared every year in the 
preamble to the Army Annual Act to be the safety of the 
United Kingdom and the defence of his Majesty's pos- 
sessions overseas. Whilst, therefore, it is necessary to 
maintain a standing Army of men taken from their homes, 
maintained in immediate readiness in whatever part of the 
globe they may be serving, these numbers should, as a 
settled policy, be as low as is compatible with the objects 
of their service and expansion be provided for in times 
of national emergency by a trained citizen force, costing 
the nation in times of peace for each man only a small 
fractional part of the expenditure required for each regular 
soldier serving with the Colours. 

The War has been well termed a war to end war, and 
although it must be admitted that our experiences since 
the cessation of the struggle do not enable us to predict 
with any confidence the complete fulfilment of that hope 
for all wars to cease upon the earth, there has been laid a 
foundation for the gradual realisation of that hope. Is it 
unreasonable to believe such a consummation possible ? 


to foster the idea and to create such a preponderance of 
opinion throughout the civihsed world as will affect every 
nation in the same way that a municipal law or strong 
social convention affects an individual ? Treaties and pacts 
have in historical times limited the resort to force and 
have served each in its time a genuine if limited purpose. 

The Hague Convention, most notable effort of the kind 
prior to the Great War, failed of its great purpose because 
the ambitions of a great military empire were already in 
existence, approaching their culmination, and could not 
either be disclosed or curbed. Thus Germany, whilst 
subscribing to the aims of the Convention and attending its 
deliberations, rendered it of no effect by refusing adhesion 
to the recommendations, as for instance those against 
aerial bombing of open towns and certain aspects of sub- 
marine action. 

Those ambitions being now foiled, time has been 
allowed to the almost prostrate nations to create an en- 
during corrective against any recurrence of such an 
appalling calamity. It is the greatest topic that can engage 
our energies. Disputes which have definite causes and 
can be stated completely in words may easily be disposed 
of by reference to impartial arbitrators, or to some existing 
and previously provided tribunal to deal with differences 
of that kind. 

Even this presupposes reasonableness, peaceful inten- 
tion and honest willingness to accept the result as dis- 
posing of the difference as if it had never arisen. 

But where the ostensible dispute serves but to conceal 
a desire for mastery, the settlement of the dispute does not 
exorcise the moving cause, and force or the fear of force 
remains an ever potential danger. 

The sudden onslaught, without mediation, without 
adequate discussion and means of accommodation, is the 


danger which a wise prevision may render less hkely. Once 
a blow has been struck, the aim of each contestant en- 
larges from the original cause and becomes nothing short 
of the complete subjugation of the other. In the last 
century and in the one before — the age of chivalry having 
passed away — many wars were begun without warning or 
declaration. Having been determined upon, the blow has 
been struck so as to take the antagonist unprepared and 
at a disadvantage. 

In 1804 the conduct of the Ministry of that day was 
assailed in both Houses of Parliament who supported their 
action in an attack without warning on the Spanish fleet 
by large majorities. 

The Earl of Westmoreland, speaking for the Govern- 
ment, said he thought his Majesty's Ministers could not 
possibly have avoided this War with Spain, and as to 
their having made it without a previous declaration, it was 
neither contrary to the law of nations nor unprecedented 
in modern and ancient history. 

The destruction of the Danish Fleet at Copenhagan 
(1807), and of the Turkish Fleet at Navarino (182;) were 
in each instance without any warning or previous declara- 
tion of hostile intent. 

Great Britain has thus not, nor has any one of the 
great nations, been free from what we would condemn. 

The early days of the Channel Tunnel project will be 
in the recollection of many. Much disquietude arose in 
this country and the Government stopped the works until 
the question as affecting our national defences had been 
determined. Lord Wolseley, then Commander-in-Chief, 
was a resolute opponent of the project. He maintained 
that the mouth of the tunnel might be seized in a time of 
profound peace, without any warning whatever, and our 
Fleet thus rendered useless to prevent invasion, and that 


we were not justified in incurring the risk. The evidence 
was considered so strong that Parliament consistently 
refused for more than 30 years to sanction the scheme. 
The Russo-Japanese War is a modern instance of war 
without warning, so recent as to be in the recollection 
of all. 

This apprehension of sudden attack — a tiger spring — 
has had its influence upon us down to these last days, 
despite our sea rampart. 

Great Britain and America have remained at peace with 
one another for more than 100 years, although acute 
differences have arisen between them, bringing us to the 
brink in at least two instances of situations which might 
have eventuated in war. There was a desire for peace on 
both sides, and means were devised for avoiding blows 
which would have decided nothing. The quarrels settled 
have been forgotten, and I will not revive them even by 
restating them or indicating them particularly. 

France, too, has been at peace with this Empire and 
with America for more than 100 years, and no reason can 
be assigned why this happy state should not continue 
indefinitely. If the three most civilised and powerful and 
wealthy nations of the world, all high-spirited, sensitive, 
and jealous of their honour and punctilious of their rights, 
can so adjust their relationships and legitimate careers 
that causes of war no longer require that dread resort for 
their adjustment, have we not a solid and enduring basis 
for a combination which will create a world atmosphere 
or attitude of mind discouraging the employment of force 
or the threat of it as constituting in itself a menace to the 
safety and well being of all ordered communities ? 

As this world does not yet consist wholly of settled 
and ordered communities, the necessity for maintaining 
internal order and preventing aggression by irresponsible 



neighbours may requii e every state to have at its disposal 
armed forces sufficient to ensure those requisites, so that 
the entire abolition of arms of destruction is not in our 
present state practicable. 

Further, no nation can, in the present state of world 
conscience, trust that unarmed it would be safe in life, 
liberty, property and honour. Over all some sanctions 
must be maintained and in the last resource those sanctions 
must be in the nature of compulsion. 

What those ought to be and how they should be applied 
are matters not yet ripe for practical solution, but that 
an enormous advance has been made during the past few 
years along the lines I have indicated is certain. The 
education of the peoples of the world to the acceptance of 
means by which. passion or ambition may be kept in the 
ways of peace and violence minimised has not merely 
begun. It has, in truth, made enormous progress. It 
would be idle and perhaps harmful to indulge the hope that 
even in a generation the ideas of untold ages enshrined in 
all literature should dissolve by any miracle. It is enough 
if the nations pursue the path, already entered upon, of 
combining wisdom and amity in discussing and probing the 
causes which unchecked might result in war, and giving 
consent to trial by battle only when all other remedies and 
sanctions fail. 

These considerations have led me naturally to the 
Covenant of the League of Nations. It is a noble legacy 
of the dreadful War, and if that cataclysm were necessary 
to bring it to birth, future ages may think the suffering and 
agony of it, stupendous as they have been, were almost 
justified. Woodrow Wilson has earned a lasting fame, 
and when all attending discords have passed away his 
achievement in gaining the assent of most of the Powers 
to the things they have pledged themselves to may well 


be regarded by his own countrymen as placing him on a 
par with Washington for admiration and hero-worship. 
The American people, in their traditional love of peace, 
are not willing to be bound in advance by the decisions of 
others to embark on any war or to take a part in any war 
that others may determine upon. But, that America would 
refuse when the time came to add her pressure to that of 
the other nations in any righteous cause in order to pre- 
vent or minimise a war, I cannot believe. I would advo- 
cate the acceptance of the co-operation of America on her 
own terms and with any exceptions or reservations she 
thought fit to make, bearing in grateful recognition that 
for the sake of justice amongst far distant nations and 
to gain no advantage or satisfy any ambition, two 
millions of her sons crossed the ocean and fought, that 
justice and liberty might not perish on earth, and fully 
confident she would do so again if any supreme cause 
required so supreme an effort. Then why despair because 
no signature on paper binds her? 

The world has staggered under the weight of arma- 
ments and, if this were all, the burden might be borne, 
though grievous. But great armaments have in the past 
begotten suspicions and fear in others, who in turn have 
added to their armour until a continent was clanking with 
the rattle of arms and men by millions were held in readi- 
ness to attack or resist, watching their frontiers as a 
householder might watch his house if robbers were about. 
This creates and always would create a state of tension 
and national pride in the excellence or the superiority of 
their preparations for warfare, offensive or defensive. 
Thus in every European country arose a military class, 
composed not merely of fighting men, but of those whose 
occupations were in the supplying of things required for 
use in war, the manufacture and fashioning of material, 


ships, fortifications and the hke. The formation of opinion 
and the mental outlook on matters of international con- 
cern have, too, always been affected by the possession of 
armed forces, whose numbers, readiness and efficiency have 
been calculated, tabulated and estimated, and the re- 
sources of every country for maintaining a contest were 
an element to be contemplated, studied and assessed. And 
so the weight of the counsels of a country tend to be 
regarded as proportionate to its fighting strength, actual 
and potential. 

Thus the limitation of armaments has become one of 
the most pressing items in the world-wide desire for 
security from sudden wars born of that state of instant 
readiness, to which I have alluded, and made possible by 
our modern wealth and methods of rapid transport. The 
principal nations of the world are meeting in conference 
at Washington on this momentous question, and I do not 
doubt that a substantial advance will be made in reducing 
the great burdens still oppressing the nations. And 1 
regard this initiative of America as an augury of her will- 
ingness to co-operate in the other measures which may be 
necessary to accompany a general reduction of armed 
forces. When all the nations agree that an act of 
unauthorised aggression against one shall be an offence 
against all, a moral force of far-reaching and decisive 
importance will have come into being. Under that protec- 
tion the hope is that any nation may in safety reduce its 
arms in reliance on the good faith and power of the general 
body of guarantors. The policy of America is against any 
commitment in advance to interference, not of her own 
volition, but any general agreement would be an earnest 
of her powerful support in common effort to minimise the 
risk of sudden war. And any combination having as its 
objects the avoidance of war is fraught with consequences 


ol untold benefit. It would be precious seed, bearing 
fruit in due time. Impatience is greatly to be deprecated 
in this world movement, for the mental outlook of mankind 
is not to be changed in a twinkling. A century is but a 
tiny slice from the immensity of national life, and I have 
the confident hope that an era of combined effort in the 
cause of peace has been inaugurated, and that we live in 
the hope of better times. Tennyson dreamt of the 
federation of the world, the Parliament of man, and Mr. 
H. G. Wells has propounded the universal state, and we 
have taken some definite steps towards the realisation of 
these visions. 

These things may eventuate and for our day and time 
we shall be worthy of our opportunity if with the enormous 
power of the British Empire we encourage every resort 
to the combination we have done our part to establish in 
the League of Nations. One single act in averting an 
otherwise impending resort to arms will establish its 
prestige, and nations may learn to respect its authority 
and obey its findings as individuals do their domestic 

It has been a happy omen that our own Government 
was the first to refer a matter in difference to it. 

The mighty upheaval in the sea of our domestic affairs 
has not yet subsided, but there is no reason for pessimism. 

I cannot forget that the men who have demanded more 
pay and more leisure, better conditions of life, in fact, 
are the same men who voluntarily in large numbers 
served in our armies, endured the hardships of war, the 
restraints of military discipline and risked life and limb 
and health with a constancy and resolution which ought to 
be weighed in the balance against the restlessness, the 
reluctance of many to re-adapt themselves to the steady 
monotone of industrial life. I cherish the simile of the 


confused and tossing waves upon the sea after a 


Time is the solvent of such difficulties. 

Industrial prosperity will surely come again, and within 
the space of a normal life the Great War and its aftermath 
will have become historical events to be studied in awe and 
reverence as the time when great things were done and our 
mighty Empire justified her past and rose to the very 
pinnacle of her fame. 

If we are on the right road and set out upon the long 
journey, if only with halting and erratic step, and pursue 
it with faith and consistency, we of this generation may feel 
we have been pioneers after much suffering in a nobler 
future for humanity. 

That phyiscal force in the final resource can never be 
eliminated is a truism as applicable to civil life in an 
ordered community as to international relationships. It is 
an adjunct to the most tolerant and humane system of 
laws, and in this field of view the sanctions have with 
more and more enlightenment become gentler without loss 
of efficacy, even to the abolition in some communities of 
the death penalty. May we not hope that future develop- 
ment in the great nations of the world will tend towards the 
establishment of world preventives of wholesale slaughter ? 
Idealism soars much higher into ethical realms at present 
beyond our vision, but not beyond the eye of faith and 
reasonable hope. Even the present century may be 
marked by the historian of future ages as the Golden 
Century of the human race, when the Armageddon con- 
vinced mankind of the madness that afflicted it so long and 
ushered in a thousand years of peace. 




I FIND that at different times different subjects interest 
humanity, and the subject of special dominating interest 
changes from time to time. Half a century ago, 
or perhaps less, evolution was the word to conjure with. 
Now it appears to be relativity. And not only the mathe- 
maticians and physicists, but many of the philosophers, 
are dealing with that subject in a comprehensive manner ; 
Lord Haldane in particular is trying to do for Einstein 
what Herbert Spencer did for Darwin — that is to say, to 
take a scientific idea, so far treated mathematically, 
out of the intricacies of physics, and spread it all over life, 
as the relativity of all knowledge. 

In so doing the philosophers occasionally come to grief 
in their physics in a mild way, just as the physicists come 
to grief when they deal with philosophy. The subject is 
sort of betwixt and between, and it is quite easy to make 
it incomprehensible. Whether it is possible to make it 
comprehensible — well, that is what we have got to 
ascertain. As to relativity in general, the use of relative 
terms and the question of absoluteness about any of them, 
you know that nearly all our terms are relative. Take 
right and left. People tell you a shop is on the right-hand 
side of the street. There is no meaning in that. It 
depends on the way you are going along the street. But 
if you say right and left of a river, right bank and left 

• Reported by a stenographer from shorthand notes taken upon the 
evening of the address. 


bank, that has some meaning, but of course it is relative 
to the direction m which the river is flowmg. Then there 
is fore and aft. That is all right with regard to a ship, 
but the ship may be turning round, and so it is not an 
absolute direction at all. It is a relative direction; it may 
correspond to all points of the compass. 

Take east and west. That has reference to the earth. 
Hence you might say that to all people on the earth it has 
the same meamng. In a sense it has, as when you say that 
Berlin is east of London and west of Petersburg. Other- 
wise it rather depends on where you are, when you talk 
about east and west, unless you are dealing with the 
abstract east and west. That, however, is relative to the 
earth, so it cannot be the same for all observers. Now, if 
a thing is not the same for all observers it is not absolute ; 
It is shown thereby to be relative to something. When 
we can find anything that has absoluteness about it, it 
must be very important. Among these relative terms, it is 
of some interest to ask, is there any absoluteness about 
any of them? Take up and down, for instance. Is there 
anything absolute about that? If the earth were flat, up 
and down would have a definite meaning for everybody, 
and the same meaning. But it is round, and up and down 
has different directions for different people. Up and down 
in New York is at an angle with our up and down ; hence 
evidently it depends upon the place where you are. Up 
and down, if you are referring to a train on a railway, is 
relative to the capital city of the country. Up and down 
a mountain ; there is no mistake about that, but it is 
relative to the mountain. 

There are a number of other terms I need not labour, 
such as far and near — it all depends on whether you have 
got a motor car or whether you have to walk ; high and 
low, strong and weak, heavy and light, dear and cheap — 


all these refer to something human. Then we come to 
large and small. We say a planet is large and an atom is 
small, but what do we mean by large and small? What is 
our standard of size? Have we a standard of size? I 
think our standard is the human body. Anything much 
bigger than the human body we call big ; anything much 
smaller we call small, in general. There is nothing 
absolute about that, and I doubt if we can imagine a limit 
of bigness, a limit of size. The stars are enormous, far 
more enormous than most people know. Their size has 
been measured lately. The star Betelgeux, for instance, 
in Orion, that red star that is beginning to rise rather late 
at night now at this time of the year, has had its size 
measured ; and if it were put in the place of the sun the 
earth could revolve inside it. Its bulk would extend to the 
orbit of Mars, far beyond the earth's orbit. Its size is 
enormous, but still limited, and there does seem to be a 
limit of size possible to a star. Then what about the 
universe ? Is that infinitely big ? We simply do not know. 
But putting bigness out of mind, what about smallness ? 
Is there a limit of smallness? Is the atom the smallest 
conceivable thing? The electron is very much smaller. 
When I was younger, the atom was considered 
the ultimate thing of which everything was built ; 
now it is a bulky thing comparatively. This shows 
how little we mean by large and small. We are accus- 
tomed in physics to think of the atom as quite large ; the 
electron is the small thing, as small as a flea is to this hall 
when compared to the atom. Well, is that the end ? Is there 
anything smaller than the electron not yet discovered ? Is 
the electron small, absolutely small, I mean in the eye of 
Deity, not in the human eye, of course? We never see 
such things. We cannot see the atom ; it is far too small 
for us to see, even with the most powerful microscope, 


because the waves of light are too big. We associate size 
with a certain complexity or possibility of complexity. 
We say a planet may have any number of things on it. Is 
such a thing as that possible to the electron, or is is too 
small? I do not know ; I do not think anybody knows. 

Then is there no absoluteness about any of these terms ? 
Yes, strangely enough, about hot and cold. When we say a 
thing IS hot we generally mean that we do not want to 
touch It. It is hotter than the human body, and when we 
say It IS cold it is colder than the human body. Is there an 
absolute coldness? There is no absolute hotness. The 
sun is the hottest thing we know, except some of the stars, 
which are now believed to be thousands of times hotter. 
But there is an absolute coldness. We owe the determina- 
tion of the absolute zero of temperature to Lord Kelvin 
chiefly. There is an absolute zero, the same for every- 
body, not only on earth but throughout the universe — one 
absolute zero of temperature, which is about 500 Fahren- 
heit degrees below the ordinary Fahrenheit zero. It is 
known with some accuracy ; it is known within a degree, 
and experimenters have got to within two or three degrees 
of it, by means of liquid helium. We have not quite 
attained the absolute zero, but we know where it is, and 
it was calculated long before it was got anywhere near 

Now, how can there be an absolute zero of anything? 
Well, just consider what heat is. It is the irregular jostling 
of the molecules of matter. When the molecules of 
matter are vibrating or moving rapidly among themselves 
— not all together — the body is said to be hot. Heat is 
that motion, nothing else. If you slow them down so that 
they are more sluggish, the body is cooling, getting cold. 
Slow them down until they stop — that is absolute zero. 
You cannot slow them down any more ; you have got to the 


zero when you have taken all the heat out of the body. Of 
course, if you take a man's capital away he can go lower — 
he can get into debt ; but that is not possible with heat. 
It gets down to zero and then stops. But you might say, 
" Is not the thing moving ? " Yes, it is moving as a whole — 
locomotion. It may be moving, but that does not matter ; 
the common motion is not heat. Heat is the irregular 
jostling of the ultimate particles, and when that stops the 
body is absolutely cold ; it is at the absolute zero of 
temperature. And at that temperature it has remarkable 
properties. It is a perfect conductor of electricity ; so that 
if you start an electric current it goes on. There is 
nothing to maintain the moon's motion round the earth, 
but there is nothing to stop it. The same with an electric 
current in a body at absolute zero ; it goes on because there 
is nothing to stop it. 

Now, I come to the question of Time. Take the words 
" sconer or later " or " before and after " or " past and 
future." Is there any absolute meaning for those, or are 
they relative terms too ? At first sight one would say that 
the past was past, that the future was future, and that the 
present was the mere slice bounding the two — an infinitely 
thin partition as it were between the past and the future, 
advancing, leaving more of the past behind, encroaching 
on the future ; and that we live in that slice of " present." 
Well, there may be animals which do live in the slice of 
"present," and have no memory and no anticipation. We 
are not in that predicament ; we do look before and after. 
But there are certain conditions which have led relativists 
to hold the dogma of the relativity of time, to say there is 
nothing absolute about time, that the time for different 
observers may be different ; not merely a difference like 
difference of longitude, but in a way dependent upon 
the motion of the observer. Now, here I must explain that 


I am not a full-blown relativist. I do not know whether 
Mr. James Rice is. He may not agree with all I say, and 
if you want a full-blown relativist to expound it to you, 
you have one among you. But I want to represent 
the case fairly, though the relativity of time is not an easy 
subject, even to those who fully believe in it. 

There is a difficulty about simultaneity. When two 
things happen, can we tell if they happen at the same time 
or not? At first sight you may say, "Why, yes, I can 
see them happen. I know if I do something here, some- 
thing else happens at the same time ; I see it." But that 
does not allow for the time the light has taken to come. 
Well then I will employ the telegraph, and if a thing 
happens in New York and I have it telegraphed here, say 
by wireless or any other method, I can tell when it happens, 
and can be sure that it happens at the same time as 
something else. But you have to allow for the tele- 
graphic delay, which of course is very small. The time 
occupied is the same, or practically the same (if you have 
a perfect method) as that required by the velocity of light. 
And there is a real difficulty about determining simultaneity 
when you come to experiments of great accuracy. Suppose 
you want to determine whether the observed velocity of 
light depends on direction, the direction of the motion of 
the earth. You may send a beam of light and telegraph 
its arrival. The beam of light takes a certain time to go, 
and the telegraph takes a certain time going back ; so 
the two going in opposite directions neutralise each other. 
Whether you use a beam of light to tell you of the arrival, 
or whether you use an electric wave, comes to the same 
thing; they travel at the same rate. The reason is that 
they are both transmitted by the ether. 

Moreover, the present moment is more than a slice. 
There is all that is happening at different places at about 


the same time, places at a distance. For instance, take 
the case of things happening at a great distance. In 190 1 
a new star burst out in the heavens, in the constellation of 
Perseus, I think it was. When did that happ>en? When 
you saw it? You know well that it did not happen when 
you saw it. It happened a good time ago, and certain 
circumstances connected with that star enabled people to 
calculate, with surprising accuracy, that it happened in 
the year 1603, just about three centuries before. When you 
saw that star you would say, " There is a new star now." 
Well, is it new " now " ? It depends what you mean by 
" now." You see it now. The messenger which brought 
the news of the new star was light, and we know of no 
quicker messenger. Had it been any other messenger, 
such as sound, we could not have heard of it yet. (The 
lecturer elaborated his meaning by diagram, illustrating 
past and future.) 

Past, Present, and Future. 
It is obvious and simple enough that the past controls 
the present; but intelligent beings are controlled also by 
the future. I sometimes think that that is the difference 
between life, especially animal life, certainly human 
life, and the inorganic world. The inorganic world — the 
atoms, the matter — is pushed from behind. It is con- 
trolled entirely by the present and not by the future. But 
that is not the case even with an animal. A dog is con- 
trolled in his actions by his anticipation of dinner. He, 
too, looks before and after. He has some memory and 
some anticipation, just as we have more memory and more 
anticipation. Take for instance an eclipse. It is going 
to happen ; it has not happened yet ; you will not see it 
until light has had time to travel. That eclipse has caused 
an expedition to start now ; at a certain date it started 


in order to see the eclipse. That is a case of anticipation. 
It caused the fitting out of a ship, the collecting of a 
number of instruments, and the travelling to a place where 
the eclipse would be visible after the lapse of a certain 
time. In that sense the future controls the actions of the 
present. It is only one example of the fact that our actions 
are largely controlled by the future. 

Now, a great deal can be said about the relativity of 
time, but I must be satisfied with saying this : that in 
relativity you have to consider different ways of dividing 
up space and time. It might be a common mode of expres- 
sion to say that the French Revolution occurred so many 
hundreds of miles and so many years away. Distance 
and time can be put together. Time and distance 
are related. For instance, you can say truly that a 
kilometre is ten minutes' walk^ Or, again, if you are at 
York, you can say that London is 200 miles away, or if 
you are going by train you can say it is four hours away. 
You very often use time as a measure of distance. 

It depends on the vehicle you are thinking of. It is 
velocity that unifies space and time, and you can practically 
use time as another dimension of space ; not exactly as a 
dimension of space, but treated much as if it were. It 
is sometimes called an imaginary dimension of space. You 
see there are three dimensions of space. There is right 
and left, fore and aft, up and down. (Illustrated by 

Those are the three dimensions of space, and what 
room is there for a fourth dimension ? I wish I could draw 
a fourth dimension on the blackboard, but I cannot. How 
did I get over it when I drew three ? Only by a perspective 
dodge in which you acquiesed. I did not really draw 
even three. If you are to have time in the diagram as well 
you must dispense with drawing one of the space 


dimensions. But whether you can draw it or not, you must 
imagine it; you must imagine progression in time. I 
cannot draw it, and I cannot tell you what it is doing, 
because it is an imaginary figure and it may be changing 
in time. It may t)e changing as an expanding circle ; it 
may be changing even as a shrub ; or as a seed which, 
beginning as an acorn, grows into a big tree. What is 
it diagramatically doing? It is advancing in the time 
dimension. Here is a thing which you will admit is the 
same thing, it has got an identity, just as the tree has, 
but it can go through all sorts of changes as it advances 
along the line of time, and then it can decay. Somewhat 
in that way the motion of planets, motion of anything, 
can be treated. You can speak of it as motion in a plane, 
or you can speak of it, if you hke, as an advance in another 
dimension of space ; and if you have already got three 
dimensions, as we have, in lengfth, breadth and thickness, 
then time must be a fourth dimension — not accessible as 
a dimension, but imaginable, as if we were going through 
a process of development. It is development, evolution ; 
development by travelling along the inexorable stream of 
time. To us it is inexorable. We cannot hurry it or slow 
it or stop it. Whether there is anything absolute about 
that flow of time — well, that is the question. Is it a human 
limitation, or is it a Divine reality ? 

You see we are getting into philosophy and metaphysics 
now. I am not trying to give you the answers to these 
questions, but to indicate the kind of things meant 
when we talk about time being a fourth dimension, and the 
way in which time can be thus represented and thought of. 
One of the things that relativity asserts to be absolute is 
the completely specified interval between two events. 
People may differ as to how far apart they are One 
will say " so much space and so much time," and another 


Will divide up the space and time differently. Different 
observers, according to the theory of relativity, will split 
up the interval in different ways. They will say so many 
miles and so many seconds separate the Coronation of 
George V from, say, the death of Charlotte Corday. They 
may not agree about the miles, and they may not agree 
about the seconds, but they will all agree about the interval 
compounded of the two ; which is absolute, an invariant, 
that is, a thing that remains constant and independent of 
the observer ; the space-time interval is absolute. When 
relativity admits the interval between two events as absolute 
— the same for all observers, no matter how fast they are 
travelling nor where they are — it has important conse- 
quences. That is one basis of the mathematical theory. 

Now, why do relativists claim that all the separate 
spaces and times depend upon the observer and are not 
absolute? To explain that, I must take another pair of 
terms, quick and slow. When we say a thing moves 
quickly — say a cannon ball moves quickly and a snail moves 
slowly — is there anything absolute about that ? Is a 
cannon ball really quick? Is a snail really slow? It 
depends upon our estimate of space and time. Ordinary 
motion, as we know it, is certainly relative. You walk about 
on the deck of a moving ship and there is a bewildering 
turmoil of relativities. There is the motion of yourself 
relative to the ship, there is the motion of the ship relative 
to the earth, there is the motion of the earth relative to 
the sun, and there is the motion of the sun relative to the 
stars. At what rate are you moving? At what rate are 
we moving now? I know we are moving 19 miles a 
second, because that is the rate at which we are going 
round the sun. In the time taken for a pin to drop from 
the ceiling to the floor we have travelled 19 miles. We do 
not look like it ; it is not obvious ; we think we are at rest. 


but we are not. W'e may be going very much faster, since 
the sun is moving too. 

Is anything at rest? Motion is relative as far as we 
have ascertained. We do not know at what rate we are 
moving nor where we are going. We do not know the 
direction nor the magnitude of our direction at this moment. 
We have no idea. You may say you have some idea, that 
you are moving with the earth, that the earth and you are 
moving round the sun and the sun is moving with reference 
to the stars. Yes, with reference to the stars ; but what are 
the stars doing? What do you mean by the stars? You 
mean our visible cosmos, what we can see with a telescope, 
but that is not the whole. It is now thought that our 
system of stars, the Milky Way, our cosmos, is but one 
of many. Far away in the depths of space there are 
others, called Island Universes — other cosmoi, other 
Milky Ways, other systems of stars — and some of those 
are moving at a terrific pace, 200 miles a second. What 
is our pace? We do not know. But what do you mean 
by moving? We can move with reference to the walls of 
the room or with reference to the earth, but what do you 
mean by moving, absolutely? What is your standard of 
rest ? 

Here is where I differ from relativists. They would 
say, " You have not got a standard, and to talk of 
absolute motion is meaningless." I would say, to talk of 
absolute motion with reference to nothing at all, is mean- 
ingless, but I think that we have a standard, and that that 
standard is the ether of space — the medium in which we 
are moving, the medium which extends throughout the 
universe, a medium which it would be absurd to suppose 
was in locomotion. I say that is our standard of rest for 
all practical purposes ; and they would agree, if it exists, 
but as to that they differ among themselves and do not 



say much about it. They are quite reasonable about it, 
but some of their early writings make people think they 
have abolished the ether. Eddington does not say that, 
and Einstein does not. Eddington told me he had asked 
Einstein in Berlin recently, who said, " No, I have no 
objection to the ether; my system is independent of the 
ether." That is all right; I agree; but that ignoration 
does not abolish it. When Laplace was asked by 
Napoleon in reference to his System of the World 
" Where is the Deity ? " he replied, "I have no need of that 
hypothesis." His system had no need. If he was always 
to be invoking the finger of God to regulate the planets 
it would indeed be a poor system ! He had to explain 
their motions on simple mechanical principles ; and that is 
what he did. 

But that does not exclude the Deity from the 
universe. It simply means He is ignored ; He is not 
essential for the mathematical theory. So it is with the 
ether. They ignore it because it is not necessary to their 
system, and they are quite right. If we differ, it is 
because they prefer to say absolute motion has no mean- 
ing, whereas I should say that absolute motion has a 
meaning with reference to the ether, but that we have not 
yet ascertained what that meaning is. In other words, 
we have not yet ascertained what that motion is. Shall 
we ever be able to ? Here comes the point — and this was 
the beginning of relativity — the proof, or shall I say the 
failure, the failure to find any motion through the ether. 
F you try to ascertain how quickly you are moving through 
ether, what do you find ? Many people have tried to find 
it in the last half century, and they have completely failed. 
Professor Wilberforce knows a lot about it, and about the 
attempts made to measure the virtual stream of ether in 
which we exist. If the earth is moving through the ether it 


is the same as if the ether is streaming past the earth, 
relatively. You can illustrate that by reference to the 
air. It does not matter whether you are rushing through 
the air or the air rushing past you. 

People have asked, " How does the earth manage to 
move through the ether ? Does the ether stream through 
the earth like wind through a grove of trees ? " They 
tried to discover the process and failed. They could 
not find any phenomena that depended on that. Then 
there was the famous experiment of Michelson, so often 
mentioned that I suppose you are tired of it, but he is a 
great experimenter, now or recently at the University of 
Chicago. He was partnered in this classical experiment 
by Morley, and they thought they could find our motion 
through the ether by its effect on the velocity of light. 
They said, " If we are living in a stream of ether, light 
must go slower against the stream than with it." They 
devised an ingenious method for measuring the velocity 
of light in different directions. They had to send it to and 
fro. The simple thing would have been to measure the 
velocity first one way and then the other way, but that you 
cannot do because you do not know when it starts. You 
can send it across the stream, and simultaneously along 
the stream ; but you must sent it to and fro in either case. 

Now, you can time those actions with enormous 
accuracy, and although there is compensation in the 
coming back the compensation is not complete. I do not 
know whether it is obvious to you which would take the 
longest, to go a mile with and against a stream, or to go a 
mile and back across the stream, but if you do the 
arithmetic of it you find it takes longer to go with and 
against. You are assisted with and retarded against, but 
the coming back takes longer and allows more time for 
retardation. You are not helped or hindered in going 


across the stream ; at least, you are not hindered very 
much. That experiment of Michelson's apparently ought 
to have shown that we were livmg in a stream of ether, 
and It did not. It showed nothmg. That was the 
beginning of the trouble. That is the experimental 
foundation for all this relativity. The velocity of light 
appeared to be the same whether going with the ether 
or against it, consequently it seemed to say, " There is no 
motion through ether at all. So some people went further 
and said, " You may just as well say there is no ether at 
all." But to say that, they could not have thought what 
light was, because they could not have waves of light if they 
did not have a vehicle or medium for them. All it really 
proved was that the virtual stream of ether, depending on 
the earth's motion through it, did not show itself. 

Why did it not show itself ? Was it because the earth 
carries the ether with it, or carries some ether with it, so 
that near the earth it is stagnant? That would explain 
it. but then there was the experiment performed by me 
at the top of Brownlow Hill a quarter of a century ago, 
when I was Professor up there, which puts that out of 
court. I whirled steel discs at a great rate till they nearly 
burst and sent light round and round between them, that 
way round and this way round, and comparing the time 
taken to go round with the discs with the time required 
to round against the discs ; for if the ether had been 
carried round with the discs the beam one way would 
have been accelerated, and the other way retarded. There 
would have been a small effect. There was none. The 
ether was not carried round with discs. This proved that 
ether and matter are mechanically independent of each 
other, there is no friction ; matter moves without the 
slightest resistance, and the motion does not affect the 
velocity of light in its neighbourhood. The possibility that 


the Michelson and Morley experiment could be explained 
by the carrying of some ether along with the earth was 
clearly disproved. Was there another explanation? 
Here were two experiments, both undeniable ; nobody con- 
troverted either of them. They seemed to be con- 

The explanation was suggested by my friend, Fitz- 
gerald of Dublin. We were discussing this, and he said, 
" Well, I believe the thing which holds his mirrors (with 
which the experiment was made) shrinks when it is 
moving." The starting point and rebounding point of the 
light were on a great slab of stone. If there was a stream 
of ether it would be flowing through this stone. Light 
ought to have taken longer to go to and fro along the 
stream. It did not. Why? Because that stone shrank long- 
ways, and the contraction made it a shorter distance, so that 
that longitudinal beam is at an unfair advantage as regards 
the transverse beam. If the shrinkage occurred, the beam 
of light might take just the same time as the one that went 
across. We considered it, and perceived that it would do 
what was wanted ; and soon afterwards H. A. Lorentz, 
of Leyden, the great Dutch Professor of Physics, carried 
it a little further. He took it up, or started it inde- 
pendently, and showed that on the electrical theory of 
matter, shrinkage ought to occur, if matter was comp)osed 
of electrons. It ought to occur, and, calculating the amount 
of shrinkage, he found that it just compensated and 
neutralised the Michelson-Morley experiment. 

You may imagine the carefulness of the Michelson- 
Morley experiment when I say that the amount of 
shrinkage needed to counterbalance, to compensate, the 
retardation, is only about three inches in the whole 
diameter of the earth. The earth is eight thousand miles 
in diameter, but if it is moving along, in that one direction 


it is three inches shorter, and when it comes round to the 
other direction it gets its three inches back again. Hence 
a relativist will tell you that if I hold a stick so, it is one 
length ; while if I hold it so, it is a trifle shorter. The 
shape and size of bodies change according to their position. 
A relativist would tell you so ; and I ready and willing to 
tell you so too. 

How can I tell? If I measure it I shall not find out, 
because the measure shrinks too. How do I know I am 
6ft. 3ins. if I stand up, but if I lie down I have lost 
something — got a bit longer or shorter, whichever it is? 
Do I know how much ? I don't. It depends how fast you 
are moving through the ether. I do not know how fast 
we are moving. Very well, then, you do not know how 
long you are. We live in a queer world of ignorance, 
and there is no mode of testing it ; so that we not only 
have relativity of motion, but of size and shape. A 
sphere is not a sphere. The effect is small, or believed 
to be small, because the Michelson-Morley experiment 
only tested the motion round the sun, not through space. 
We could not test that. The motion round the sun 
changes in six months, but the motion of the sun through 
space you cannot change. You can make no experiments 
on that; it is hopeless. You cannot measure that; there- 
fore we do not know what size we are, or what size anything 
is. Everything is relative ; not only time, but velocity, 
motion, size, shape, mass, even matter; that is a conse- 
quence of the electrical theory of matter. A pound of 
matter would be rather more, if it were moving quickly, 
than if it were not moving quickly; so that mass is not 
constant, as Newton thought it w;\s. Relativity says the 
same. It is consistent with relativity, but it is a sequence 
of the electrical theory of matter. My view is that the 
ether affects all these things. Motion through the ether is 


changing the length and size of the body, the shape of 
the body and its mass. Ordinarily there is no means of 
ascertaining these things, and hence they are all relative — 
nothing absolute about them. They may differ for 
different observers, and whether they have any absolute 
meaning, a relativist would say he did not know. 

But is there nothing absolute about velocity? Why 
may man not travel through the ether at the rate of a 
million miles a second? Here we come across something 
new, something absolute! Curious! A relativist would 
admit it. There is a velocity — he would not call it a 
velocity in the ether; he might say a velocity in space; 
there is a velocity which you cannot exceed. If you try 
to move at 180,000 miles a second the ether will just let 
you go ; it will get out of the way, but with such reluctance 
that you find it exjtremely difficult. If you try to go 190,000 
miles a second, it will not get out of the way, and you 
cannot go. A bullet cannot go through air quicker than 
the velocity of sound proper to the heated air in front 
of the bullet. Sound has the velocity at which air will 
got out of the way. When dynamite explodes, the air 
declines to get out of the way. The air is made to get 
out of the way, but then the building is made to get out 
of the way too. One resists as much as the other. 

The velocity of light is the velocity at which the ether 
will not get out of the way, and consequently no piece of 
matter can move quicker than that. That is a maximum 
velocity. There appears to be something absolute in the 
velocity of light. And this is a most remarkable conclusion 
of the relativist. He would say — I would not say it — th^ 
whether there is a stream of ether or not, light takes the 
same time going with the stream as against it. Suppose 
you are travelling to meet the source of light, surely you 
will got it quicker than if you sit still, or if you run away. 


They say no: whether you are going faster or slower, 
you will get it at what seems precisely the same time. 

So that there are two things absolute, the interval 
between two events, when you take both space and time 
into account, and the speed at which light moves. How 
does that come out of relativity? It comes out of the 
composition of motions. I cannot stay to explain fully 
how we get the composition of motions, but if you have 
two velocities they compound together. Supposing you 
are in a boat on a river ; you are going, say, four miles an 
hour and the river is flowing three miles an hour in the 
same direction. What is your velocity with reference to 
the earth ? What is your actual velocity ? Your velocity 
i? four miles relative to the river, that of the river is three 
miles relative to its banks, so you get seven miles 
altogether. If you are going in the opposite direction you 
get one mile. Is not that common sense? If you have 
two velocities U and V you compound them into U+V, 
but when you apply the relativist doctrine, mathematically, 
taking into account all that I have tried to sort of skim 
the cream of, that is not the composition, that is not the 
law. The resultant velocity is not that, but 

C7+F divided by I + ^^ 

where C is the velocity of light. This unexpected 
denominator is i +the product by the square of the velocity 
of light. That fraction of t/ + F gives W, the resultant 
velocity. That denominator is introduced by the theory 
of relativity, it is introduced by the Fitzgerald contraction, 
by all the different things I have been explaining, and I 
admit it is there. It is a very curious thing, it is a very 
odd formula for the velocity. If the velocity C were 
infinite, the whole thing would be common sense again— 
the resultant velocity would be i7 + F simply— but as the 


velocity of light is not infinite, there is a very small cor- 
rection which has to be applied ; which, strangely 
enough, has to be applied in actual practice when things 
are moving quickly enough. Some of the planets are moving 
quick enough. Mercury is moving quick enough, and it 
affects the motion of Mercury slightly. 

Now go further and suppose that I am compounding 
something with the velocity of light itself ; instead of only 
the motion of the earth relative to the sun, and the sun 
relative to the stars, which you might take as U and F, 
or instead of any other two motions that you can think of. 
Take my exjjeriment with the revolving discs. I was 
trying to modify the velocity of light by compounding that 
velocity with another one, that of the discs, or the velocity 
of the ether between the discs. I was looking for a velocity 
C+V, trying to compound C with another velocity V, 
somewhat as in the Michelson and Morley experi- 
ment. I was sending light down the stream and up the 
stream, aiming at C+V and C-V; trying, in fact, to see 
if the velocity of light increased up stream and diminished 
down stream. Neither they nor I found anything. Why 
not? Because that is not what could have been found. 
Look at this equation. It expresses the new law for 
compounding velocities, and algebraically the result is C. 

C-f V 


They did not know it, I did not know it, but that is the 
law of composition according to this formula, when one of 
the velocities is C and not U. Work that out algebraically. 
Give it to your boy and he will tell you the result is 
algebraically C. It comes out the velocity of light and 
nothing else. You have tried to increase the velocity of 



light by putting V into it, but you cannot. It is unchange- 
able. Hence, the experiments were all bound to give 
negative results, without any talk about the ether, without 
any talk about the Fitzgerald shrinkage, because of that 
law of composition which is the law appropriate to 

I am coming to the end of my programme, though I 
have still got to introduce gravitation. When we introduce 
gravitation all manner of other things happen. You begin 
to doubt Euclid, and to talk about the nature of space; 
relativity is supposed to do away with gravitation. When 
you come to look into the matter, as to what you really 
observe, instead of only what you think you observe, you 
find a difficulty. You think you observe an attraction of 
one body for another. The earth attracts the moon. How 
can it attract the moon when it is not there ? There is a 
great distance between the bodies. How can any body act 
directly at a distance ? Newton knew it could not, but he 
did not know enough to explain how it happened. He could 
surmise, as we can and do, that both the earth and moon 
act on ether, and that the ether presses them together. 
But statements like that are of no value until they are 
worked out. 

Einstein's is an attempt to work it out, using different 
language. He would say: Here is a particle moving by 
itself in empty space. Here I put in its path not exactly 
an obstruction but a curvature, a pucker. Let this thing 
be moving in a sheet. Let us have a stretched plane, and 
let us make somewhere in that plane a pucker, and let 
the thing have to go near that pucker, which we will call 
a mountain. Suppose you want to go the easiest way, 
you won't go like the land crabs and other animals do, 
straight up the mountain or the house or whatever the 
obstruction is — up and over and down. You will prefer 


your path diverted, you will try and go round it. Your 
path will become curved, to get as little of the pucker as 
possible. You will stretch the apparent length of your 
path to get an easier shorter-time path. Your path will 
be curved with reference to this pucker. But you might 
also express the motion by saying that the moving thing 
is evidently attracted by the pucker and so curved round. 
It is something like the hyperbolic orbit of a comet attracted 
by the sun. Space seems warped. 

What is that warp? A warp in space has caused the 
path of a body to be curved in order to get the line of 
least resistance. No longer would you call it an attract- 
ing force. You would simply say it is the effect of a warp 
in space. What is the warp due to? You might say, to 
an atom or mass of matter at its centre. You might claim 
that matter warps the space all around it, and accord- 
ingly that the gravitational behaviour of bodies is as it is. 
We live in the warped space. 

Now, is it right to say that matter causes the warp, 
or that the warp is matter ? A full-blown relativist would 
say that that is what you mean by matter. These warps 
in the centre rise not only to a pucker that can be got 
round, but to one that must be got round ; so that if you 
try and go through it you are up against the impenetrable. 
You cannot get through the centre. 

The impenetrability of matter follows, therefore, as 
well as the attraction of matter. I do not suppose I have 
made that clear at all, but still I have indicated roughly 
the kind of way in which these warps in space simulate 
and replace the effect of gravitation. Only to me a warp 
in empty space is meaningless. An effect on the ether is 
full of meaning, and I believe the sun and all the planets 
do really affect the ether in such a way as to produce 
their actual paths, which we may likewise attribute to 



a pressure on them all towards the sun. You may 
as well call it a warp as anything else ; and by calling it 
a warp you avoid the necessity not only of gravitation but 
of matter itself. Everything becomes reduced to 
geometry, and Euclid's propositions are not strictly true. 
In the warped space you have a different kind of 

Now, strangely enough, the geometricians of the past 
had invented a hypergeometry that was not Euclid's, and 
seemed to have nothing to do with anything but imaginary 
and ideal laws. Einstein had the genius to perceive that 
this hypergeometry would do what he wanted in the 
physical real world. By using that geometry he could 
work out the whole of the universe, so to speak, on 
geometrical lines ; dispensing with physics, force, matter — 
with any of those things that we have lived on — and 
reducing it all to pure mathematics. It was a tour de 
force. It is a wonderful achievement, very brilliant, and 
I do not wonder mathematicians are enamoured of 
it. But the end is not yet, and we shall come out into 
common sense later on, with the addition of those great 
and notable discoveries which have followed from this 
method of treatment. For, mathematically considered, 
relativity is a splendid instrument of investigation, a 
curiously blindfold but powerful method of attaining 
results without really understanding them. There have 
been several of such methods— second law of Thermo- 
dynamics and others— but they ultimately have to be 
explained by physics. They are not a substitute for 
physics, they are not a philosophy. If pressed unduly 
you can manage to express things rather absurdly, but 
the method is a way of arriving at real results and of deal- 
ing with abstruse and hidden problems. It is not a 
replacement but a supplement of Newton. 


(Here followed a number of illustrations by means of 
equations, showing the slight differences from Newton.) 

Lastly, consider for a moment the relativity of human 
knowledge. Eddington says, towards the end of his book, 
Space, Time and Gravitation : 

The theory of Relativity has passed in review the whole siil>ject 
of physics. It has unified the great laws which by their position 
hold a proud place in knowledge, and yet this by itself is only aD 
empty shell. The reality is in our own consciousness. There are 
mental aspects deep within the world of physics. We have only 
regained from nature what man has put into nature. Everything 
is relative to human perception. 

This may be understood, or misunderstood, as meaning 
that there is no objective reality at all, that things are as 
it were brought into existence by our conceptions of them, 
that a subjective existence is all the existence they have. 
Any such interpretation as that I repudiate. Our per- 
ceptions enable us to disinter from nature some part of 
what is already there — and which we certainly did not put 
there — but the phenomenal aspect which reality assumes 
to us, in other words its appearance does depend on our 
modes or channels of perception and on our interpretative 
human mind. Objecticve reality exists, but it is we who 
interpret it. The universe is incapable of being completely 
comprehended by any finite being, it must be interpreted ; 
and the way we interpret it depends on ourselves and on 
our faculties. Absolute reality might presumably be 
apprehended and formulated and perceived in a great 
number of different ways ; we apprehend it in a human way, 
and our science must be conditioned by the human mind ; 
it is therefore bound to be relative to the human mind. But 
the human mind is not a constructor of nature — only an 
interpreter. Objective reality exists, and makes an im- 
pression on us. The impression it produces depends on 



what we bring to its perception. For example, a man 
perceives one aspect of a work of art, an animal perceives 
another — in so far as it perceives it at all. In that sense, 
and in that sense only, we get from nature what we put into 
it. We do not doubt that man sees it more truly than the 
animal. How God perceives it, or what it is in ultimate 
reality, we do not know. Our interpretation is relative to 
our own consciousness, even to our own individual con- 
sciousness ; but there are levels of consciousness, and 
science seeks to raise our conceptions above what is merely 
individual, and aims at universal truth — truth acceptable to 
all humanity. 

And so, concerning all the discoveries which have been 
flooding in on us of late about the Universe, humanity 
can say, as Eddington eloquently says at the end of his 
remarkable book: — 

We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the 
unknown. We have devised profound theories to account for its 
origin. At length we have constructed the creature that made 
the footprint, and lo, the footprint is our own. 



For several reasons I rather hope that the plain man is 
not present this evening, at least in the audience, for I feel 
sure he is about tired of being preached at and lectured 
and made the subject of many articles in many journals. 
It is indeed probable that reputations — I mean the reputa- 
tions of the superior people — have been made in the 
process. If he be present at all he will be tempted to use 
terms not as a rule attached to either literary or philo- 
sophical speech, and I believe he would be exonerated by 
any capable jury on the ground of justifiable self-defence. 

Of course, he exists and he forms the large majority. 
He is to be found in all classes of society, and indeed, in 
that very big class commonly supposed to be no class at 
all. It may possibly be — I speak with caution — that he is 
represented in the membership of this learned and philo- 
sophic society — as G. B. Shaw said on one occasion, " You 
never can tell." 

As a matter of fact, Mr. President, the identity is very 
elusive, and the definition suffers in consequence. I am 
sadly afraid that in the search, something or somebody 
may gently whisper that those who live in glass houses 
should never throw stones. 

Someone once said that in public life one ought never 
to apologise and never define. I question the wisdom of 
the latter injunction, for definition is indispensable, though 
apologies may be veiled It is well, however, to bear in 
mind that a definition does not necessarily express the 


whole or even a part of the truth of the merits of the thing 
concerned. It is only as it appears to the individual mind 
and with regard to one particular aspect. There is, too, 
the temptation to present a definition having as its chief 
characteristic a kind of accommodating quality. Thus 
we find in Lothair a certain character saying, " What he 
admired about the Aristocracy was that they lived in the 
open air, that they excelled in athletics, that they only 
speak one language and that they never read." I came 
across another definition the other day — a modern one. 
"The Prime Minister (1921) never opens a book, and the 
members of the House of Commons only open their letters." 
Such definitions do not carry one very far, for the 
generality interferes with the particular. And, further, 
it is applicable to others besides aristocrats, for people who 
live in the open air, excel in sports, only speak one 
language, and never read, do not all live in Mayfair or 
Belgravia, or even Sefton Park. 

Experience and study combine to form judgments, but 
after all, the experience is personal and the study may 
be quite individualistic. 

John Morley once remarked, " It is impossible to define 
a Jingo, but I can always tell one when I see him." On 
these lines many of our judgments run. We have to rely 
upon an inner vision for reliable information, and the 
reliance is by no means of an infallible nature. And 
therefore, to confess to a certain difficulty in precision is 
to throw no discredit upon our intelligence. Nor must 
the search for some degree at least of appreciable cer- 
tainty be deemed impossible. We are continually setting 
up in our minds forms and types from which we classify 
the incidentals and accidentals of daily experience. 
Probably the average results will approximate to realities, 
while here and there failure will have to be admitted 


During such research work we shall have to depend 
to a considerable degree on what we may term a compara- 
tive judgment. Life is a series of comparative judgments. 
Under this influence we form our opinions, and under 
another we seek to revise the formed opinions. The whole 
realm of our intellectual activity is, as it were, shadowed 
by a certain conscientiousness which demands self- 
criticism, revision and sacrifice. Perhaps there is nothing 
cjuite so sensitive as an enlightened impression of mental 
responsibility as illustrated in our definitions. We may, of 
course, take cover or seek refuge in various ways: the 
clever retort, the plausible answer, the ready wit may 
suggest means of escape, but it is apt to be very poor 
and pitiful. 

" What is a Pessimist ? " one asks. " One who lives 
with an Optimist." And so the questioner is amply 
satisfied. One wonders! 

Now probably you will agree with me that it is almost 
time we tried to form some definite ideas about the plain 
man — we can talk about his problems a little later. Various 
definitions are applicable, though I reserve to myself the 
right to take a certain point of view. The popular idea — 
and I was almost going to say, and therefore the most 
erroneous — about the plain man, is that he is one who 
calls a spade a spade and not an agricultural instrument. 
We know the species. Its members sometimes masquarade 
as business men. Dr. Jacks says that the plain man may 
be, and often is, part of the philosopher himself — a kind 
of dual personality I had better read Jack's own words 
on the subject. I begin with his preamble. 

Philosophy, like religion, has to endure opposition from a law 
in the members whicli wars against the law of the mind. 

Perhaps after this we may get certain confessions from 
certain philosophers here this evening. 


He goes on to say — 

When we turn from religion to philosophy (which I venture to 
think is at bottom rather an experience of life than a set of 
doctiines cut and dried), we find that philosophers have less to tell 
us about their misgivings. Perhaps they do well to keep silence, 
for their work is to exhibit the truth as true. Judging pilosophers 
from the atmosphere of their works we shonld scarcely suspect 
that they were subject to grave misgiving and sinkings of the 
heart, when they feel their systems turning hollow, their argu- 
ments losing relevance, and the very meaning of their work on the 
point of vanishing into thinmost air. 

We know that between the philosopher as exhibited in his 
works and the philosopher as we encounter him elsewhere there is 
a difference : sometimes a difference which we welcome and some- 
times a difference which we deplore. And having observed the 
contrast we can hardly doubt that for him, as for the religious 
man, there are times of eclipse, times when his philosophy slips 
from his grasp and fades away, times when it is only by the 
greatest effort of mind that he can apply his philosophical insight 
to his present condition. 

" My philosophy," he will say, " did ultimately help 
me on the occasions to which you refer ; but it was only 
after a very severe struggle with my unphilosophical self." 
"This unphilosophical self," says Dr. Jacks, "appears 
as a person with whom our author has a purely external 
or bowing acquaintance, and the name given him is ' The 
Plain Man.* " 

Now we had better listen to the Principal a little longer. 

We are left to suppose that the plain man is some person 
whom the writer, as he looks up from his desk, sees passing in the 
street ; or he is some butcher, baker, or candlestick-maker. We 
are left, I say, to suppose this. But the supposition is seldom true. 
Nine times out of ten the plain man is just the philosopher himself 
in one of those not infrequent moments when he is overtaken by 
an eclipse of his philosophic faith. 

That is one aspect of the matter; an aspect not at all 


lacking in honest and vigorous treatment. It is, however, 
one with which I am not at the moment much concerned, 
for though it has subtle, not to say fascinating, points, yet 
it hardly represents the special characteristics of the 
plainness I want to consider. What is plainness? One 
turns to that perennial source of England's intellectual 
greatness, or shall we say, that ever present help in 
literary troubles — the dictionary, for light and leading. 
We find that "Plain" stands for "smooth, even, level, 
open, clear, easy, manifest, obvious, void of ornament, 
not rich or highly seasoned." 

Really one is forced to exclaim that if one half of the 
implications can be attached to the Plain Man, some of us 
will be a trifle envious of his character. 

It might seem from the article of the Editor of the 
Hibhert Journal as if the world were divided into two 
classes — the philosophic and the unphilosophic. Under 
such an impression one naturally turns once again to the 
dictionary to get the authorised and orthodox meaning 
of philosophy. " The science which investigates the causes 
of all phenomena ; the general principles belonging to any 
department of knowledge ; a calmness of mind " This is 
the philosopher's creed, and it is calculated to make humble 
folk feel the bitterness of their humility. It is, therefore, 
with a special relish that the humble folk learn that even 
which tends from time to time to bring him to a level 
the philosopher may possess an unphilosophical mind, 
with themselves — the knowledge is grateful and comfort- 
ing. . And it is because of this, if only on cccount of the 
least shade of suspicion, that perhaps the Plain Man may 
from time to time possess the philosophical spirit, in, say, 
the off moments of his very plainness. We have to ask 
ourselves whether such a plainness described by Dr. Jacks 
is relative to the moral or the mental condition — happily 


we can rule out all reference to the physical. It would 
seem as if the parable of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde had a 
very wide application. This dual presentment of human 
conduct is true to life and experience. It is just a question, 
however, as to the relativity of what we term plainness, 
to the moral and mental. Dr. Jacks speaks of 
the philosophical and the unphilosophical as form- 
ing part of the one personality. It seems to me 
that in any classification, any which appeals to, 
say, direct action, we require a more concise render- 
ing and a more concrete objective. To call the philosopher 
sometimes one thing and sometimes another somehow 
seems to interfere with a definite conception of the whole. 
One, of course, can understand moral lapses and temporary 
accidentals, but it is likely that the judgment of the world 
would not allow such an innocuous term of plainness to be 
used. Something more in keeping with conventional 
prudery would be demanded. 

And all this, I beg to submit, is a kind of challenge to 
our idea of a clean-cut definte issue ; not necessarily severely 
correct, or even strictly logical, but one which appears to 
suit our purpose. Therefore we have got to construct 
some kind of a working hypothesis. What is it to be ? I 
know not what judgments will be pronounced this evening, 
but I give you as my own that the Plain Man is one who 
has his thinking done for him, and deliberately accepts 
second-hand intellectual garments. Thinking by substitu- 
tion, if you like, thinking executed on a vicaroius system, 
thinking accepted on simple — ^very simple — trust, and so 
on. There may, of course, probably there will be, certain 
variations that in any scientific analysis would necessarily 
have to be taken into account, but the condensation as it 
were, practically amounts to a statement of a condition of 
intellectual servitude. Such, then, is the heritage or pos- 


session of the Plain Man, and as such I think is worthy of 
our careful consideration. We might preface the study with 
the admission that our Plain Man is in an overwhelming 
majority — that he always has been, and as far as one can 
judge, always will be. And further, that he is limited to 
no one class or condition of men and women ; that he may 
be scientist, philosopher, divine, statesman, merchant or 
dock labourer. In parenthesis one may say that in this 
view Dr. Jacks' philosopher is more understandable. It is 
not that the scientist, philosopher, divine, statesman, 
merchant or dock labourer are conscious of their own plain- 
ness, or that for a season the outside world is conscious of 
it — that doesn't count. What does count, is the real solid 
fact of a plainness revealed by some chance or accident in 
word, thought and deed. For there are even scientists 
who have forgotten to be original ; statesmen with no 
saving grace of statesmanship ; philosophers who exist 
upon past reputations. Professionalism is singularly 
opened to be attacked Its very dogmatism renders it an 
easy victim. Yet, in the main, it is not the professional 
man as such I want to deal with ; it is rather, if I may so 
put it, the professional Plain Man I have in view. Who 
is the professional Plain Man? Not only is he one who 
accepts other people's thinking, but also is somewhat 
proud of the action. In fact, it is in his eyes an imputa- 
tion of righteousness. He is a man who believes in the 
prestige of majorities, and the larger the majority the more 
convincing the prestige. He is one who, according to 
some writer, believes that if you can chant a recitation of 
a formula often enough its truth is so much more estab- 
lished. He trusts in the sacredness of numbers and in 
the influence of moral arithmetic. Your Plain Man has a 
great attachment for superlatives. He can be positive 
without the possible weakening of the comparative, but 



he glories in the superlative. It seems to him to save such 
a vast amount of energy and time when the force of the 
superlative is near at hand. He is strong for consistency, 
disregarding the dictum that it is the hobgobhn 
of small minds. He would tell you that the quotation 
came from an ill-assorted and badly regulated mentality. 
Your Plain Man is a strong supporter of law and order 
and consistency as applied to the attributes of the mind. 
To anything which bears even the semblance of novelty 
he is a declared enemy. He terms it subtle and after that 
there is nothing more to be said. The usual, obvious, 
regular, literal, commend themselves ; outside of these, 
lurks danger. He shuns the imaginative if only on account 
of the introduction of a strange element. Indeed, if ever 
he became imaginative, he would cease to be plain. It is 
because he belongs to the tribe of the Peter Bells of 
primrose fame that he is imprisoned in a world of literal- 
ness. The flower in the crannied wall has no significance ; 
the primrose by the river has no message. There are no 
fairies to be found because there is no title for the search. 
I'he sunlight dancing on the meadows, the rustling of the 
leaves on the trees, the measured action of the running 
brook, the open message of flowers and grasses, appeal in 
vain for the appreciation of the inner vision. It is absent. 
Is it too much to say that in a certain sense it is the myopia 
of the soul that is in evidence ? The Plain Man is plain 
even to ugliness because he Hves in a plain world. It is 
a world with correct boundaries, distinct measurement, 
precise limitations, and therefore it is plain. No one has 
a right to live under such conditions ; it amounts to an in- 
fraction of the housing plans belonging to the City Beauti- 
ful. The Plain Man never heard of the City Beautiful. 
Let me tell you a story. 

Once upon a time— I believe all stories commence like 


this — once upon a time, the daughter of a prominent 
member of a certain Exchange asked her father 
who was Whittier. The merchant didn't know, but said 
he would enquire on the following morning. But in the 
evening he had to confess his failure. He had enquired, 
but was told that no such person was known on the 

The City Beautiful does not exist for the Plain Man, 
and is not known in the markets where the plain men 

I want to turn for a moment to the Plain Man in 
the aggregate to try to discover his attitude to three of the 
great dynamic forces : politics, morals, spirituality. And I 
think it may occur to you that at once we are touching 
upon the fundamentals of history. For surely history, if 
anything at all, is- bound up with the interests and conduct 
of the Plain Man. The Plain Man has had to do with 
history to a very large extent. Action and reaction have 
followed one another, sometimes in a state of comparative 
lethargy ; sometimes in a state of startling rapidity. But 
whether slow or fast, the potentiality of force has seldom 
been absent. Take, if you will, three very important 
epochs of English history: the Reformation, the Restora- 
tion, the Revolution. Primarily in proportion to the great 
issues involved such upheavals were comparatively blood- 
less. Such upheavals carried the plain man, so to speak, 
off his feet, but he persisted ; the kind did not perish. I 
submit that these three earthquakes could not have 
happened save with the connivance and support of the 
majority of the people — themselves for the most part 
being Plain Men. What did the Plain Man think — if he 
thought at all — about the coming of a new society ? What 
gave him the necessary stimulus to consent to a new dis- 
pensation whether in Church or State? I think we shall 


have to attempt some little analysis in order to arrive at 
some accuracy of conclusion. And to do that, the aid of 
psychology will have to be invoked. What we really have 
to examine is the mind of the crowd ! For that is what an 
aggregate of Plain Men presents ! It is a strange and 
subtle study, for the crowd offers strange and subtle points 
of view. Seemingly influenced by various motives, it is, 
as a rule, under the spell of only a few. I think there are 
in the main two principal ones : self preservation as repre- 
senting the concrete ; emotion as representing the abstract. 
If I were asked as to the principles or virtues almost 
entirely ignored I would, without hesitation, mention 
(i) anything of the nature of a scientific enquiry (2) any- 
thing of an impartial judgment. I pause to suggest that 
these characteristics are evidenced in the Plain Man. 
Multiply the causes and you get a multiplication of 
effects. Self preservation to the crowd has its personal 
and impersonal aspects. There is a self preservation as 
touching personal wants and needs, comfort and pleasure, 
safety and confidence, and there is a self preservation as 
touching old customs, conventions, rules and ceremonies. 
And the driving force behind the energy is emotionalism. 
Surely one of the most uncertain and illogical elements in 
human life. But it rules, and rules with a high hand. The 
Plain Man may be, and often is, a hapless prisoner in the 
hands of emotion ; the crowd owes the whole of its unifying 
strength to the same source. The Plain Man welcomes 
emotion because it supplies him with a moral and physical 
stimulus ; the crowd surrenders itself to emotion as a justi- 
fication for obedience to passion. Emotion serves to focus 
feeling. It banishes the sense of indecision and leaves no 
alternative. Any study, however superficial, of human 
nature reveals that feelings and convictions are not neces- 
sarily identical. Passion takes care cf the one, judgment 


the other. It must not be thought, however, that the crowd 
— the assembly of plain folk — is continually under the 
influence of strange and strong excitement. This is not 
so. The normal condition is one of an almost bovine 
character — patient, unassuming, inoffensive, satisfied. 
And all this to a large extent owing to the presence of 
plainness. Recall, if you will, our dictionary definition, 
" smooth, even, level, open, clear, easy, manifest, obvious, 
void o'^ ornament, not rich or highly seasoned." Yet one 
has to recognise that the Plain Man in multiple is re- 
sponsible — in part — for the great convulsions in religious 
and political society. How reconcile the smooth, even, 
level, open, clear, manifiest characteristics with the 
dynamic action and the revolutionary spirit? If we 
regard the matter of the Reformation — and let me assure 
you I have no indention of discussing its merits — we shall 
find that hundreds of thousands of ordinary people, our 
plain folk, simply without fuss or bother, consented to the 
establishment of another phase of theological thought. 
You saw the spectacle of a myriad Vicars of Bray — lay and 
ministerial — in full action. Take again the period of the 
Restoration — quite an arbitrary example, history teems 
with them — the plain folk hurrying to the standard of 
another Stuart. Was this the effect of deep, political 
thought and study ? 

Had some new reflective power intervened ? Possibly 
to some extent, and yet after you have accounted for this 
influence you have by no means solved the problem. 
Suggest, if you like, education, but at once you are in the 
presence of a new dilemma, or, shall we say, under the 
stern necessity of supplying a new definition to education 
itself. Education of or by the senses ? Will that do ? Yet 
surely the educated instinct suggests that education, if of 
any intrinsic value, exists in order to educate the senses, 
and certainly not to receive orders from them. 



Why does the crowd oscillate so continuously and so 
consistently between marked limitations of definite policy ? 
Take the record of the General Elections and incidentally 
the bye-elections ! Is it not true that once a certain party 
has established its majority that it also establishes the 
corrosion of that majority ? The pendulum is ever on the 
swing ! And remember that the swing owes its impetus 
to the crowd — the plain folk who live in plain manner. 
The inducements, blandishments, promises and prospects 
held out by the Parliamentary candidates and others — I 
except the candidates for your honourable council — speak 
volumes for the estimation with which impartiality and 
judgment are regarded. When you find on election day 
a carriage in which two diminutive children are sitting with 
a large printed device, " Vote for Daddy," well, you think 
things. What is the Plain Man, the plain crowd, thinking 
to-day about the merits of the great current questions? 
Ask the man in the street his opinion, and when he 
commences to give you a duplication of the remarks of 
his favourite newspaper, check the flow and demand an 
unbiassed reply. Will you get it ? The intellectuality of 
the man in the street is easily worked upon by exterior 
influences, and it is the susceptibility to the influences 
which chiefly determines action. This forms the supreme 
driving force. 

I touch in a tentative manner on the relationship of the 
Plain Man in the aggregate towards the higher matters of 
life. I speak, of course, in no dogmatic way, for indeed 
the subject disarms ^11 pretence of dogmatism. But I feel 
I am right in saying once more that it is in the attitude 
towards the higher things of life that really determines 
the place and position of the really Plain Man. I hope 
to show later that the plainness is often concealed, but 
at the moment I am more concerned with the natural 


unconcealed relationship ; and this it is which provides the 
acid test. Let us get to very close quarters! Does or 
does not the man in the street appreciate art, science, or 
literature? You see I am only taking the man in the 
street as a representative, though by no means does he 
monopolise the field. 

Shall we return to illustration? Go into any average 
cinema and observe the effects of the respective films on 
the disposition of the audience. Does Venice by moonlight 
attract more than Mr. Charles Chaplin ? I will leave 
it at that. 

I desire to enter into a new phase of our discussion and 
to entitle it, to borrow from Dr. Jacks, " The Bitter Cry 
of the Plain Man." Dr. Jacks, writing on the attitude of 
the Plain Man in relation to the philosopher makes the 
former say — 

Is it surprising then that many of us have come to think of you 
with some bitterness of heart? For to yon, we often tliiiik, is 
owing much of the sorrow that afflicts us in these modern days. 
First and foremost there is the burden of all this weary unintel- 
Uble world. We deny it not. We see it waiting for every man at 
his appointed hour. But who has tied it upon our backs for ever 
as a thing from which there is no mistake ? Who has brought it 
to pass that the weary weight never leaves us ? Who has put a 
question in the mouth of every fact, and plied us with riddles till 
we reel and stagger and are at our wits' end ? Gentlemen, you 
have overdone all this. You have forced your riddles in season 
and out ; and not content with those the world will furnish, yon 
have invented others of your own. It is you who hold us to the 
question night and day. Have you not dealt too hardly with the 
plain man ? Is it none of your doing that this bad dream never 
leaves us — the dream that we carry on our backs, the weary 
weight of an untelligible world ? Have you not made of life a 
blacker mystery than you need ? 

And again — 

If, as some of you profess, there is no reality but thought, or 


process, or experience, what could have started the notion, 
common to all plain men, that there are many realities besides 
thought, process, or experience ? If all we can think is thought, 
then nobody would ever have been able to think of something else 
which isn't thought. How did we first manage to do that, and 
how do we manage to keep it up or carry it on ? Who once more 
is the Jeceiver ? 

In quoting this I may seem to have committed the 
awful crime of begging the question, and indeed it does 
represent a certain line of reasoning — correct and apt — 
yet one I am not specfiically dealing with. My Plain 
Man is hardly so advanced as Dr. Jacks' specimen, and I 
am afraid he hasn't got into such an advanced class. 
Wasn't it said of Dr. Johnson that if he could make fishes 
speak, his little herrings would pose as great whales ? My 
plain man is just one of those little herrings, and he 
doesn't understand whale talk. None the less, the bitter 
cry does come — now and then — even from my Plain Man. 
He does sometimes wake into the consciousness of the 
existence of a world he would like to enter, and yet from 
circumstances — at least he thinks so — is utterly debarred. 
Sometimes he is visited by a stray gleam of high imagina- 
tion, and in its light is revealed a new and glorious universe. 
Sometimes the perfume of the incense of the romantic is 
wafted hard by and visions of a beauty strange and subtle 
come before him. Sometimes an insight — minute but 
intensive— is permitted into the region of the city beautiful 
and his eyes are dazzled with wondrous illumination. 
Sometimes he can, or thinks he can, detect the faint tokens 
of an atmosphere of truth, beauty and goodness, and 
somehow, something he cannot nor dare not explain, 
whispers a mysterious joy. These things happen. Or it 
may be that the pure semblance of an ethereal mysticism 
suddenly lights up his surroundings, and in the seeing of 
the mystical, a sense of reality is conveyed in all its 


splendour. Again he is met by his own problems. The 
very flush of things troubles and perplexes his spirit. He 
is conscious of being a mere plaything of incidental cir- 
cumstances. He seems to be always shifting his position 
according to the dictates of some tyrannical command. His 
outlook becomes blurred ; his certainties become uncertain ; 
his fixities become loose. Everything appears to be un- 
certain. In self defence he insists upon the duration of 
the concrete and the absolutism of events, and somehow, 
loss and disappointment seem to wait as natural, logical 
sequels. He is as one on the seashore, grasping in his 
hands a measure of sand, only to find that the result is 
emptyness. He is startled by the insidious power of 
growth. He sees moments developing into minutes, hours, 
days, generations. And all the time he appears to be a 
helpless, passive spectator. He may not, probably never 
does, become entangled in the problems of subtle 
philosophy, where personality and identity and conscious- 
ness, and n)uch else besides, trouble and perplex. But he 
is not free from problems all the same. He knows he is 
always on the brink. And he has an idea he is just 
playing a part in his world of indifference, carelessness, 
defiance and stupidity. His perfect self assurance and 
absolute certainty are known to him to be at their best 
but pitiful assumptions. He is like the schoolboy 
whistling as he passes along the churchyard after dusk. 

Life does put on an inscrutable appearance from time 
to time, and the Plain Man is frankly puzzled. And of 
course he cannot escape the arrows of the questioning 
spirit. He may, he does, put the creditor off with this or 
that specious excuse, but he knows the bill is unpaid and 
he is at his wits* end to meet the hability. The Plain Man 
is quite satisfied as long as everything around him is 
plain, usual, regular, clear and obvious. Nay, he is more 


than satisfied as long as authority and tradition are wilHng 
and able to take upon their shoulders the burdens of 
intellectual and spiritual problems. To him this is a 
Heaven-ordained contrivance, and exactly meets the diffi- 
culties of the situation. When, however, he is forced to 
realise that authority and tradition fail him, he feels that 
to take away the props which doth sustain the house is in 
truth to take away the house itself. 

To quote again from " The Bitter Cry of the Plain 
Man "— 

" Gentlemen," this is an address from the Plain Men 
to the philosophers. " Gentlemen, — You are the helpers 
of the world ; you prepare the harvests which feed man- 
kind. Plough not the hungry sand, we beseech you. 
Give us bread, not husks, to eat, and we will come to your 
tables. Cleanse your threshing-floors from the chaff of 
past harvests. And look to your storehouses, for there is 
famine in the land." 

So we see that the Plain Man is face to face with his 
problems, though they take upon themselves so many 
vestiges of philosophical disappointment. Call it disillu- 
sionment, if you like; it is the beginning of disintegra- 
tion. It comes as a call to burn what was previously wor- 
shipped, and worship what was previously burnt. 

Crises find the Plain Man very lonely. It is just then 
that he requires— nay, he demands— a measure of under- 
standing. Shall we say we want to know exactly how 
he stands, if indeed he stands at all ? On such occasions 
he naturally falls back on his favourite formulas; his 
experience of the world ; his pet confidential maxims ; his 
cherished will power. These things have counted in the 
past in the markets, on the Stock Exchange, and in the 
busy haunts of commercial activity. But somehow they 
seem to altogether fail in the presence of something 


rather away from the ordinary, the plain and the normal. 
In short, the plain man fears the mystical and he fears 
it because of an intuition that the mystical may be far more 
real than the so-called realities. 

A writer says, " Not only all religious experience is full 
of it, but every poet, every painter, every musician knows 
the shock of contact with reality." Surely even the Plain 
Man is aware of it. The same writer adds — 

" The vision of absolute beauty while it lasts is 
actually a laying hold on eternal life." 


By G. H. MORTON, M.S.A. 

Emerson, in his Essay on Compensation, writes : — 

All infractions of love and equity in our social relations are 
speedily punished. They are punished by fear. While I stand in 
simple relations to my fellowman, I have no displeasure in meeting 
him. We meet as water meets water, or as two currents of air 
mix, with perfect diffusion and interpenetration of nature. But as 
soon as there is any departure from simplicity, and attempt at 
halfness, or good for .me that is not good for him, my neighbour 
feels the wrong; he shrinks from me as far as I have shrunk from 
him"; his eyes no longer seek mine; there is war between us; 
there is hate in him and fear in me. 

This extract from Emerson's well-known essay seems 
to me to fairly describe the present relationship between 
capital and labour ; there is undoubtedly a mutual distrust, 
an impression that what is good for one is not good for the 
other ; a state of war ; a growing feeling of hate and fear. 

In the good old days the employer was a master of his 
craft, a leader of his workmen and a father to his 
apprentices, but, when machinery came into being and 
works necessarily assumed larger proportions, this personal 
interest disappeared and an industry itself became a sort 
of machine — soulless and inconsiderate. 

Capitalism asserted itself and labour lost those closer 
ties with its employers that formerly existed, resulting in 
what is sometimes described as the friction, but more 
often, and perhaps more correctly, as the conflict between 
capital and labour. The consideration of, and our obliga- 


tions to, the worker, ignored in the past by the strict 
economist, can no longer be neglected, but must now be 
taken into account. As Mr. Hitchms said, at the meeting 
of the British Association last year — 

The fact that wages postulate a willing buyer and a willing 
seller of labour does not justify the employer in driving the 
hardest bargain he can. The interpretation of this law must be 
consistent with the higher moral law of our duty towards our 
neighbour, and the many shortcomings in our industrial life may, 
in my opinion, be attributed entirely to the fact that we have 
failed to apply the moral law. It is not the system which is 
wrong, but those who work it — employers, employed, and con- 
sumers alike; it is the hearts of men that must be chanj^ed, not 
the forms of industrial organisation, it we are to cure industrial 

This conflict between labour and capital is probably 
the most vital subject of to-day. It is causing an immense 
loss, almost impossible to estimate, not only to the 
capitalist and the worker, but to the whole community. 
The wealth of the country is seriously jeopardised, vast 
sums are squandered which should be used for industrial 
developments, for the increased employment of the workers, 
and as a consequence for maintaining a high standard of 
wages. The loss or decrease of capital produces unem- 
ployment, and both in their turn result in the reduction of 

The coal stoppage last year is only one of many 
instances of the gigantic loss that the struggle between 
capital and labour entails. In this dispute alone, probably, 
no less a sum than ;^20o,ooo,ooo was lost. It was stated 
at the time that the three months' strike resulted in a loss 
of ;^8o,ooo,ooo by the industry, ;^6o,ooo,ooo by the 
miners, and that the cost of exports, transports, railway 
guarantees, the calling up of a reserve force, etc., would 


not be far short of ;^5o,ooo,<X)0, besides the losses, less 
direct, sustained by tradesmen. 

It is imperative, therefore, that some scheme should be 
devised which will end this state of things and substitute 
a higher " positive ideal of industrial fellowship between 
employer and employed " — " a new spirit of fellowship in 
which capital and labour will work together for the 
prosperity of the country and a more equitable distribu- 
tion of its rewards " ; some scheme that will bring about a 
different, and a better, relationship between the employer 
and the employed, based on a mutual interest, and 
demonstrate that the old methods of force, by strike or 
lock-out, are not only antiquated and out of date, but are 
ruinous to the community and all concerned. 

The workman, unfortunately, is under the impression 
that a strike, if hot his only weapon, is at any rate his 
most powerful one. He forgets, or does not take into 
account, that there are limits even to strikes. In addition 
to the waste and loss they entail, and the misery they 
cause, the stoppage of a particular industry may create a 
substitute for the commodity it produces or limit the 
future demand for it ; as would be the case were oil and 
electricity largely substituted for coal ; with the result that 
coal might be no longer required, or the demand for it 
be considerably reduced: in such cases fewer workers 
would be employed, or the works and factories be closed 
completely. In work of all kinds similar disastrous effects 
may ensue, or work be postponed indefinitely, as has 
occurred in the building trade, and others allied to it, 
resulting in the serious unemployment at present 
experienced. But perhaps the worst feature of a strike 
or lock-out is that they create a spirit of antagonism 
between employers and employed, and strikes continue 
longer than they ought to do, simply from the combative 


spirit created : for when once these last resorts of force 
occur neither side wilhngly gives in. In a book hf an 
American, Mr. Sam Crowther, Why Men Strike, the author 
states — ■ 

That men strike not only for specific grievances which can be 
be remedied, but also as a result of general mental restlessness, 
largely stimulated by false economic teaching. Numbers of wage- 
earners in all countries are obsessed by the crude idea that wages 
finally come out of the employer's pocket, and that he has large 
stores of gold locked up in a safe. To such men the idea of a 
strike presents itself as a proposal tor relieving the employer of his 
superfluous wealth for the benefit of underpaid workers. They 
rarely get as far as realising that the whole of the employer's 
wealth, if divided among them, would only make a minute addition 
to their wages. 

These delusions, as Mr. Crowther quite justly and very 
usefully points out, are due not only to Socialist teaching, 
but also to the attitude of the less intelligent employers 
and of many members of the wealthier classes. In par- 
ticular, he condemns in language none too strong the 
arrogant tone adopted by members of the comfortable 
classes towards working men who try to enlarge their 
standard of comfort by buying pianos or indulging in 
motor rides. The implication that the wage-earner is 
always to be content with a low standard of life in order 
that the wage-payer may have a high one may be well 
described as a direct incentive to revolutionary action. 
Another phase of the same attitude is the conduct of 
certam types of employers whose only conception of 
reducing the cost of production is to cut down the rate 
of wages. Their folly is reinforced by that of the 
Socialist agitator whose patent device for raising wages is 
to reduce the output of work, and so increase the cost of 
production. In Mr. Crowther's happy phrase: "Bourbon 


and Bolshevik are equally dangerous, and differ mainly in 
bathing habits and choice of language." 

Much as we may desire to make strikes and lock-outs 
impossible, it seems to me that in the present relations of 
capital and labour they are inevitable ; but they should be 
regarded as a serious last resort, and every effort should 
be made to avoid them by a clearer vision, or insight, 
than is often evinced by the labour leader or the employer. 
A strike would be justified, for instance, when the work- 
people were clearly underpaid and the employers ignored, 
or would not entertain, demands for increased wages. 
To strike might be the only way for labour to achieve its 
rights. A lock-out would be justified when wages were 
so high and " ca' canny " and tantalising stoppages so 
prevalent that the idustry could only be carried on at a 
loss. In this case, of which, unfortunately, there are 
possibly many at the present time, the only alternative to 
the lock-out would be to close down and discontinue the 
industry altogether. This was strikingly demonstrated by 
the action of the Yarrow Shipbuilding Company at Scots- 
town a few months ago, who announced that — 

Owing to repeated strikes, reduction of output and demark- 
ation disputes, the cost of shipbuilding has become excessive, and 
we have decided temporarily to close our works. 

It should, however, be possible to put an end to strikes 
and lock-outs on the grounds that they result in such 
gigantic losses, are a menace to society, and cause much 
unemployment. That strikes are a serious danger to the 
country was remarkably demonstrated by the evidence of 
Mr. J. H. Thomas, M.P., in his recent action for libel 
against The Communist. Mr. Thomas, referring to the 
coal strike, stated that — 

This strike had in it all the germs of revolution, and that there 



would come a moment when he would have left the movement — 
when, he said, that it meant bloody revolution and the rest. 

Mr. Justice Darling remarked — 

It showed how thin was the partition which divided this Trade 
Union dispute from a dispute which might have become in a 
moment a bloody revolution. 

Arbitration in the ordinary way has failed and there is 
little possibility of any real progress in industry through 
it, but compulsory adjudication and settlement by the 
Government should not be impossible, and the time 
seems opportune, for both employers and employed are 
questioning the benefits of strikes and lock-outs. Mr. 
Hitchins says — 

An important step in the right direction had been taken by the 
Government having given powers to institute an enquiry into any 
trade dispute and calling witnesses. 

At the Trades Union Congress, held in Cardiff last September, 
an appreciable section decided that the strike weapon is out of 
date, and that the benefits which it is supposed to produce are not 
commensurate with the heavy losses which it inevitably entails. 

Mr. A. Pugh (London Iron and Steel workers) proposed that 
adequate machinery should be provided through the Trades Union 
Congress whereby, in the event of any serious industrial dispute 
being likely to lead to a stoppage of work, opportunity must be 
provided for consultation, so that the power of the Labour move- 
ment might be brought to bear to obtain an equitable settlement of 
the dispute without a stoppage of work He asserted that the 
present methods of trade unions were out of date, and had no 
regard to the changed conditions of industry. Not one per cent, 
of industrial strikes were justified by the results obtained, which 
were becoming more and more disastrous to the Trade Un;on 

Mr. John Hill (Newcastle Boilermakers) said they wanted some 
machinery for co-operation between trade unions before a stoppage 
takes place. 


When, in a dispute, employers and employed fail to 
agree then the Government should step in, hear the claims 
of both sides, and decide what is fair and equitable, 
economically sound, and for the benefit, not only of the 
industry, but for the community. The Government's 
decision should then be final and binding. It cannot be 
objected that the Government represents a privileged class 
only, for it consists of representatives of both capital and 
labour. At any rate, the committee appointed to settle 
disputes might have an equal representation, headed by a 
chairman appointed by both sides. In short, strikes and 
lock-outs should be made illegal and abolished, for while 
they continue, disputes become aggravated and no system 
of profit-sharing can be successful. 

There are, of course, three main elements essential to 
produce a successful industrial concern : capital, manage- 
ment and labour, and all three require encouragement to 
secure the best results. Capital must have adequate induce- 
ments to attract it. Management must be liberally 
rewarder for the constant thought and brain effort that are 
essential to all industrial success ; and labour should have 
a larger inducement than it has had in the past to encourage 
it to that greater effort and keener interest associated only 
with the capitalist and brain worker. In addition to these 
three elements there is the employer, who may not neces- 
sarily be the capitalist. He, especially in small industries, 
is a capitalist and manager or brain worker, combined in 
one individual, usually possessing considerable technical 
knowledge and practical experience of his craft. 

Labour is essential to all industrial development. No 
raw material is of any use until labour has been applied to 
it. Most commodities, before they are of any ser\icc, 
pass through many complicated processes, each of which 
necessitates much complex labour. The fact that nothing 


is of any use without labour seems to have given some 
workers the notion that they should solely benefit by their 
work and receive all the profits. They forget or ignore 
the fact that they must be fed, clothed and housed before 
there can be any result from their labours; and these all 
require the application of labour upon them. A fund has 
therefore to be reserved from previous labour to sustain 
those engaged in future production. This fund is capital^ 
indispensible to all industry, without which no business 
could be established, or exist, or continue. It not only 
provides the factory, the plant, the machinery and stock,, 
but also the v/ages for the workers and the initial expense 
and outlay essential to start and carry on a business. It 
is the result of saving, and assists, or makes possible, 
future production and is entitled to a " living wage," as 
labour is entitled to a living wage. But what is left over 
belongs, not to capital alone, " but to both capital and 
labour in such proportions as fairness and equity and 
reason shall determine in all cases." In the past capital 
seems to have received all the benefits of prosperity. The 
capitahst, as distinct from the employer, generally speak- 
ing, is only an investor, simply lending his money, but 
taking no part in developing a business or influencing its 
success or its profits. He therefore frequently receives a 
larger return, in dividends or interest, than he has a right 
to expect or ought to have. He should be satisfied with 
a reasonable interest, "a living wage," on his loan and 
share the profit that remains with those who have been 
instrumental, by their work, in obtaining it— that is, with 
the workers, both hand and brain. Capital can no longer 
monopolise large profits, but must recognise that those 
who produce them have also a very real claim to participate. 
It is essential, however that in order to bring about that 
mutual interest between capital and labour, that the 


capitalist must not be limited to the minimum rate of 
interest or " living wage " any more than the labourer, but 
receive with the workers a share in the profits so as to 
induce him to invest and risk his capital in commercial 
developments and compensate him for any losses in 
unsuccessful ventures. 

Many industries are, unfortunately, over-capitalised. 
The history of many business concerns is that an individual 
or individuals establish an industry. It increases, and is, 
for various reasons, converted into a limited company. 
The original proprietors sell this business to the company 
and receive the value of their factory, plant, machinery, 
stock, debts and other assets, with which they were able 
to carry on satisfactorily; but in addition they often 
receive a large sum for goodwill. The new company is, 
consequently, saddled with a capital amount which it does 
not require and pays a large amount in interest, or divi- 
dends, upon it. As time goes on, it frequently happens, 
that more money (or capital) is needed, and further shares 
are created, usually having preference over those already 
existing! Now, very often, neither the original goodwill 
nor the increased capital is really justified and seldom 
balanced or secured by assets of real value, and to my 
mind should not be considered as capital, in the strict 
definition of that term. Capital is usually, I think, divided 
into two kinds : first, " fixed " capital, represented by 
buildings, machinery, stock, etc., the value of which could 
be realised in case of " winding up," and secondly, 
" circulating " capital, which has not this concrete repre- 
sentation, is necessary to carry on a business, but should 
be no more than is absolutely essential for that purpose. 
Capital in an industry should therefore not include money 
paid for goodwill, or any inflated, or excessive amount in 
shares in excess of the amount needed or required. The 


values of goodwills and excessive or inflated capital is not 
the same as the fixed and circulating capital. They should 
be regarded in the nature of a loan or a tax upon the 
industry, and be paid off or wiped out as speedily as 
possible. The interest or dividends on them should 
be limited in amount. The real or essential capital 
of an industry at any rate should be the only capital con- 
sidered in any division or share of profits with labour. 
Many firms that show small, or no profits, would be success- 
ful were they not over-burdened and weighed down by the 
excessive capital created. Large amounts have been paid 
for goodwills, to the original proprietors of a firm, who 
retire or withdraw. The management is then often left 
to less capable successors and the new company is not only 
taxed with the interest on the amount paid for the goodwill, 
but with the cost of the new management. The subject 
of inflated and excessive capital is fully recognised by the 
Labour Party. At the Trades Union Congress held at 
Cardiff last September Mr. Ben Tillet, M.P., moved a 
resolution that— 

In view of the large percentage paid on fictitious capital, the 
company laws being powerless to prevent the misuse of capital, 
that it be an instruction to the General Council to make a serious 
enquiry into methods of investment and the inflations of capital. 

He said that " Capital had become an international 
machine." At a meeting of the Labour Party held in 
Glasgow last September a member speaking on unemploy- 
ment said — 

The outstanding feature of the last few years was the inflation 
of capital, the creation of credits, building up mountains and 
mountains, all bearing interest. 

The prejudices of labour against capital seem to me 
to be largely due to this inflation of capital, rather than 
against capital itself. At a meeting of the Yorkshire 


branch of the Industrial League, Mr. Andrew Daglish, a 
workmen's official, said — 

The objection was not to capital as such — it was obvious 
that industry could not run without it — but it was in the wrong 
hands : tlie hands of the few instead of the many. 

Mr. Crowther, the American writer, to whom I before 
referred, considers that — 

A much more hopeful prospect of industrial peace lies in the 
development of the capitalistic instinct among the wage-earners 

Quoting his own words — 

You cannot take away the desire to rail at capital as such 
unless you desiroy the mystery surrounding it. The best way to 
destroy that mystery is to have every man, woman, and child a 
capitalist. If there is such a thing ab a capitalist class, then let us 
all be members of it. 

He goes on to add, " the great enemy of Bolshevism 
is the bank account." Mr. Harold Cox states in a review 
of Mr. Crowther's book — 

If the workman is to become a capitalist he must attain that 
status by his own efforts and on his own responsibilities. The 
various devices for creating special workmen's shares are only 
another form of that paternalism which is the principal vice of 
profit-sharing. The workman must make his own savinss in his 
own way and invest them as he likes, not necessarily in the 
particular firm for which he is working. If he does invest in that 
firm he must be on exactly the same footing as other shareholders. 
The two functions of investor and worker are in fact essentially 
different, but both are necessary to the maintenance of industry, 
and happily both can be simultaneously exercised by the same 
individual. The ideal is that every man should be both a worker 
and a capitalist. That idea has been almost universally attained 
by the middle classes; there is no reason why it should not 
prevail throughout the whole community. 

The most extreme Communist is beginning to recognise 



that capital cannot be dispensed with, for even were a 
Government to take its place that Government becomes 
the capitalist instead of the individuals, and the workers 
themselves would have to largely subscribe to the Govern- 
ment capital fund. The case of Russia affords a con- 
spicuous example that labour cannot do without capital. 
Its leaders now recognise this. Lenin, in an article in the 
Labour Monthly, states that Russia "must pass through 
a stage of State capitalism on its road to Communism," 
and explains that especially in small industries, the 
necessity of having large stocks of corn and fuel and to 
replace the worn-out machinery by new. All this means 
capital, whether provided by the State or by individuals. 
That Russia is reverting back to capitalism, by the play 
of natural forces, is further emphasised by an American, 
Senator France, who had been some time in Riga. Lenin, 
Trotsky, and other Soviet leaders, he declares, are now 
framing their laws accordingly. 

By their voice and action in legitimising the seizure of land by 
the peasants, the Bolchevists have laid a new, and infinitely 
broader, foundation for the capital they were striving to cver- 
throw. They see that now, and are prepared to act accordingly. 

" We want to open our country to foreign capital," 
declared Tchitcherin in an interview with a special news- 
paper correspondent. 

Capital and labour cannot exist without each other. 
The one is as important as the other, and any sudden 
violation of the deep-seated instincts which produced the 
capitalistic system would lead to disaster. They are both 
engaged in the successful development of industry and 
therefore there should be no antoginism between them. On 
the contrary, there should be a community of interest, a 
common aim. The workers of the Fiat Motor Works in 
Italy, during a strike, took possession of the factory and 


tried to "carry on" themselves. They failed utterly, and 
after a few weeks of confusion, riot and bloodshed had to 
beg their employers and managers to return and resume 
their leadership and management. There have been cases 
where employers have offered their businesses to their 
employees, who wisely refused the offers, knowing, full 
well, that they could not successfully work them. Where 
the experiment has been tried the result has, almost with- 
out exception, been failure. The choice seems to be 
between a bureaucratic Government managed method or 
private enterprise, and the experience of the war period 
proves that private enterprise is by far the most satisfac- 
tory, for almost all Government controlled industries, as 
we all know, have resulted in extravagance, with conse- 
quent loss and the upsetting of the industries interefered 
with. The withdrawal, or serious diminution, of capital 
curtails industries and hinders the establishment of new 
ones : for it is only when capital is abundant that the invest- 
ment in new ventures will be risked to any large extent. 
When there is any shortage of capital, large interest is 
demanded and obtained, just as when there is a plentiful 
supply it can be obtained on lower terms — a reason why it 
is in the interest of the workman to assist in the accumula- 
tion of capital. The cost of the war has caused a 
tremendous loss in the amount of the capital of the country 
which would otherwise have been available for industrial 
purposes at a low rate of interest. This shortage is 
possibly the cause of much unemployment and will 
ultimately result in reduced wages. 

In considering profit-sharing — a subject that has for its 
object the improvement of the relations between capital 
and labour — the first essential seems, obviously, to devise 
some scheme that will be advantageous, and for the 
benefit of both. This will be best attained by a mutual 


interest in the profits of the particular industry m which 
they are both concerned; as is evidenced by the many 
schemes advocated and adopted, of which the settlement 
in the coal strike of last year is a conspicuous example. 
This settlement was practically determined on the profit- 
sharing plan and is probably the largest scheme in 
existence, for it is not confined to one colliery only, but to 
practically the whole industry. The result may prove 
disappointing if there are no profits, and consequently 
there are none to divide. The working of the scheme is 
being watched with interest. In a profit-sharing scheme 
the employer is usually quite clear in his reasons for 
adopting it. If his workpeople are interested in the 
profits he anticipates greater efficiency, keenness, interest 
and economies for which he is willing to pay. It is simply 
a business proposition, to secure greater prosperity and 
larger profits. The aim is not philanthropic or to provide 
a " soothing syrup " for what is called labour unrest. He 
knows, as every employer of labour knows, that very large 
sums are lost through carelessness, inefficiency, lack of 
interest, and lost time. He deplores all this waste and 
hopes that by sharng the profits with his employees he will 
to a large extent, if not altogether, put an end to it. 

Though manifesting a restless and ambitious discon- 
tent, the worker is not so optimistic, but rather the reverse. 
He is obsessed by a long-standing prejudice, and the con- 
viction that if the employer benefits he must necessarily 
lose. Labour has, therefore, to be educated and con- 
vinced that he benefits proportionately, with the capitalist 
and the employer, by sharing in the profits, which will 
allow him, while earning a normal wage, to receive in 
addition what may be termed an appreciable over-wage 
and thus reward him for the share he has taken in 
securing the profits, toward the obtaining of which his 


labour has contributed. But a new element is now 
generally recognised by employers , and that is the 
human side of business and industry. As Lord Lever- 
hulme states — 

And tljis new departnre can only come evoliitionally from the 
man at the top — by the adoption of a wise statesmanHke policy on 
the part of the employers and managers who control our indus- 
tries. If this is not possible of achievement from the men at the 
top, then it will come like a destructive, uncontrolled volcanic 
upheaval, revolutionally, from the man at the bottom. Our great 
assurance that all will go wisely and well is to be found in the fact 
that both masters and men are in the twentieth century becoming 
more and more concerned with the human side of business, and 
less wholly absorbed in the machine. 

Before adopting any profit-sharing scheme it is 
essential, therefore, to foster a more considerate spirit and 
to get rid of old prejudices on both sides. To create a 
confidence that can only result from mutual respect and 
trust. There must, in Emerson's words, be no " attempt 
at halfness, or good for me that is not good for him." The 
feeling of distrust so palpable in many negotiations of the 
past — the impression that one side was watching every 
opportunity to gain some advantage over the other — must 
end. This feeling was very one-sided, but now the 
Labour leaders are so able, skillful and know their subject 
so thoroughly that employers require all their wits to keep 
pace with them and hold their own. The old idea, of the 
Capitalist, that he should be the sole " beneficaire " of 
prosperity must give way to a more considerate spirit, so 
that it will not be forced upon the worker to fight for his 
share, to which he is justly entitled, by having to strike 
for increased wages. 

It is equally essential that the new labour claims, 
which practically amount to labour receiving all the 


profits, be disposed of, and still more, the extreme labour 
demand, that the workers should receive even more than 
the profits of an industry. 

"This theory that an industry can live on somebody 
or something else than its own hard work, progressive 
methods and financial soundness," is absurd, and in the 
end would prove disastrous. Lord Leverhulme stated at 
the meeting of the Worlds Service Exhibition that — 

Subsidies were pernicious and only meant the destruction of all 
business. The country could only pay subsidies to particular 
trades so long as other trades were able to carry on, and pay their 
excess of taxation and can hold their own against competitors 
in more fortunate countries not similarly handicapped. 

Even when large profits are realised in a particular 
industry it does not follow that a permanent increase of 
wages is justified, the profits may only be temporary, but 
it does seem fair and equitable that the workers should 
participate, in common with the capitalist, in this temporary 
prosperity that they help to realise. This share in pros- 
perity has been a common cry of labour during the past 
few years, though often much more than a fair share was 
demanded, and then, not in the form of a bonus, which 
would automatically end in unprofitable years, but by 
increased permanent wages, which once given are very 
difficult to reduce without trouble, as by a lock-out or 
strike. The mistaken idea of labour seems to have been 
that the bubble prosperity during the war period would 
continue ; and the workers are now faced with the 
unpleasant fact that a reduction of wages seems inevitable, 
or, there will be no wages at all and unemployment will 
not only continue, but increase. The worker generally 
ignores the fact that he is not the only employee receiving 
payment for his services. "The organisers or managers 
are also entitled to payment : it is on their brain power that 


success largely depends," and " the man who provides the 
machinery is as much entitled to payment for the service 
his capital renders as the man who provides the labour, 
and both stand to gain if the product is increased, because 
there will be more to divide." 

In schemes of participation of profits by capital and 
labour there appear to be three methods or main divisions : 
Profit sharing ; payment by results ; co-partnership. 

Though the combination of two, or the three, may be 
adopted in one industry or business concern, profit sharing 
provides that the workers receive, in addition to the 
standard rate of wages, a share in the final profits of a 

" Payment by results " is, I think, generally under- 
stood to be the sharing of the profits on one particular job 
by the workers employed upon it. As, for instance, in 
the erection of a building where the contractor has 
calculated to pay ;^ 10,000 to labour. The workmen are 
informed that should the amount paid in wages on the 
completion of the work be less than this ;;^io,ooo, the 
difference will be distributed proportionately among them, 
as a bonus. If the wages only amounted to ;^9,ooo, then 
;^i,ooo would be paid to them. 

" Co-partnership " goes further. It involves that the 
worker accumulates his share of profits, or part thereof, 
in the capital of the business, thus gaining the ordinary 
rights and responsibilities of a shareholder ; or co-partner- 
ship certificates may be created and distributed among 
employees, who would then receive dividends in common 
with other shareholders, after such shareholders have been 
paid a minimum rate of interest in dividends. In profit- 
sharing schemes all employees should participate and be 
encouraged to save, so as to be able to meet any special 
expense and to provide for old age. To be acceptable it 


should not interfere with existng conditions of either the 
employer or employed. Many schemes have failed because 
their object has been to interfere with the freedom of 
the workman in preventing him from remaining in, or 
joining, his union, or from leaving his employers, com- 
pelling him to invest his share of profits or part of it with 
the firm by whom he is employed, and other kinds of 
unfair conditions. 

Failure has also been due to want of appreciation or 
apathy, on the part of the employee, and real interest has 
only been evinced in the case of foremen and others 
occupying positions of trust or leadership. Schemes have 
been abandoned through trade depression, resulting in 
there being no profits to divide. Workmen generally do 
not understand this, but expect a share once given, as 
permanent, an annual reward or bonus. 

A profit-sharing scheme to be attractive to the workers 
ought to ensure a large sum for distribution, but. 
unfortunately, this would not always be forthcoming, 
because many industries show very variable profits. Even 
a considerable amount would only yield a comparatively 
small sum to each individual. To be appreciated by the 
employee it should produce at least ten per cent, on his 
wages. Anything less than this has been found in- 
sufficient to yield good results. It must be substarftial in 
order to weigh with the workman as against demands for 
increased wages, and encourage him to greater interest 
and enthusiasm in his work. The worker, however 
should recognise that there will always be periodic times 
of depression, when little or no profits are made, and be 
content when there are none to divide. The present 
serious trade depression in almost all industries will test 
many profit-sharing concerns. 

Perhaps the chief opponents to profit-sharing and 



partnership schemes are the workers themselves, or rather 
the extreme element who view them with distrust and 
suspicion. In a discussion on the subject at a conference 
of the Social Democratic Federation on August ist last 
they were referred to as frauds generally promoted to 
avoid industrial disturbances. 

Comrade T. Kennedy opened a discussion on "The Co-partner- 
ship and Profit-sharing frauds." Profit sharing scheme», he said« 
were generally promoted to avoid industrial disturbance. For- 
tunately in the past the workers had been sufficiently astute to 
avoid the pitfall prepared for them. No scheme of co-partnership 
would get over the fundamental antagonism between employers 
and employed, and Social Democrats must retain their uncompro- 
mising opposition to profit-sharing and the appointment of workers 
on boards of directors, realising that such a thing would create a 
conservative tendency among the workers, and would undoubtedly 
be harmful from the point of view of industrial organisation. 
Guild Socialism, too, had misled many people wlio ought to have 
known better. It was reactionary and cut athwart the Social 
Democrat conception of social production for social purposes. 

There was little discussion, and the executive was instructed to 
prepare a leaflet or manifesto on the subject. 

Aother form of objection, from the capitalist side, is 
that so many schemes have failed. Last year a Govern- 
ment Report was issued on profit-sharing schemes in the 
United Kingdom. Mr. Harold Cox, in commenting on 
this subject, stated — 

Out of 380 schemes that had been started up to October, 1919, 
only 182 survived. Many of these surviving schemes were still 
quite young. Their chance of life, if we may judge by the record 
of their predecessors, are very small. Out of 194 schemes, started 
before the present century began, only 36 were surviving iu 1920. 

The reason for these failures is not far to seek. In reality 
profit-sharing is, from the very start, economically unsound. It 
is, as Mr. Crowhter puts it, a form of disguised charity. In the 
large majoritv of industrial undertakings the extra industry of the 
manual worker has far less effect on the final balance sheet than 


the Skill of the commercial branch of the concern in buying and 
selling at the right time at the right price. Therefore to give the 
workman a share of the profits is to give him something he has 
not himself earned. In practice workpeople who receive a share 
of profits look upon it, not as a reward of their merit, but as 
manna dropped from heaven. They often spend their anticipated 
bonus even before it is paid to them, and they regard it as an 
obligation of the firm to pay the bonus even if there are no profits- 
According to Mr. Crowther American experience shows that on 
the average only 20 per cent, of industrial concerns make a profit 
in any given year ; the idea of profit-sharing under such conditions 
is an obvious absurdity. Based upon a fiction, it is bound to end 
in failure. 

These objections do not seem to me very convincing. 
"Comrade Kennedy" condemns himself. He says, 
" Profit-sharing schemes are promoted to avoid industrial 
disturbance." Surely the very thing we want to avoid. 
The capitalist objection of Mr. Crowther, that they are 
"economically unsound" and "a form of disguised 
charity," is hardly correct. If profits are partly due to 
the efforts of labour, then the worker, by participating, is 
only sharing in what he has contributed to produce, and 
there is no economical unsoundness or charity about it — 
the workers having earned their share. 

The ideal scheme of profit-sharing supported by many, 
perhaps most of its advocates, is that every man should be 
both a worker and a capitalist. This is co-partnership, 
the principal of participation " by the wage-earners in 
industry by which they not only share profits, but also 
hold shares in the capital of the concern in which they are 
employed. In this way they share the losses too." The 
workman must be allowed to make his own investments, 
but surely it is a good thing if some of them are in the 
business in which he is engaged. He should be encouraged 
to thrift and to save and invest, not necessarily in the 


business in which he is engaged, but also in any other 
concerns. In some firms it is common to issue employees* 
shares by which the worker suffers some restrictions; but 
he should be placed on the same footing as any other 
shareholder and have no difficulty in realising if he desires 
to invest in anything else, or buy his house, get married, 
or incur any other liability or start business on his own 

The advantage of saving would soon be demonstrated 
to him by the growing dividends or interest, and be of 
great benefit to him in his old age or to his widow and 
children in case of death. 

The encouragement and interests of the employer and 
the capitalist have also to be considered as well as the 
employee. When the employer is also the capitalist he 
should be encouraged to develop and bring his work to 
a successful issue, and must receive, in addition to interest 
on his capital, an adequate remuneration, but having 
attained it should share the remaining profits with his 
employees. In a limited company it is different. Instead 
of the employer there are directors, managers and others 
who also receive fixed remunerations. They would 
naturally be included in the profit-sharing and co-partner- 
ship scheme, have all the privileges, and be on a propor- 
tionate footing with other employees — hand or brain 
workers. The case of the capitalist who simply invests 
his money is different. He does nothing to make the 
business a success or influence the profit in any way, but 
frequently receives a larger share of the profits than he 
deserves, and certainly does not earn, at the expense of 
the workers. The interest or share dividend of the 
investor should therefore be limited to a minimum rate and 
the remaining profit shared proportionately with labour. 
Prof. Muir recently stated that — 


In Limited Companies the shareholders are given a security 
and an advantage which justifies the Umitation of the dividend or 
interest compared with the old styles of business which suffered 
greater risks. 

It has been suggested from the labour side that the 
standard rate should be fixed at, say, five per cent, or 
the Bank rate, and that all profit after this fixed rate is 
paid should be divided among the employees. For the 
workman to receive all these profits seems to me as unfair 
as for the capitalist to receive them. The arrangement 
would be unjust to the capitalist and certainly offer no 
inducement for him to invest his money in industrial 
enterprises, and cover him for the risks to which all 
business ventures are subject. 

To the capitalist the sharing of profits might appear 
that he was acting the philanthropist and giving away 
what he himself was justly entitled to, on the ground that 
the business would never have been created or carried on 
without his capital. Very little consideration is needed 
to destroy this fallacy. Capital is, of course, essential, 
'but so is labour. Without it capital would be impotent 
and of no account. But the point is, would capital lose 
anything in the " long run " ? Undoubtedly larger profits 
would be realised in consequence of the workers being 
interested in making them, so that though the capitalist 
appears to give away a considerable sum, his share in the 
increased profits might compensate him for his apparent 
generosity, and he would still receive what he anticipated 
on a non-profit sharing plan, and in addition, to some 
extent at least, be insured against loss, in consequence of 
the workers being as interested as he is in the prosperity 
of the business. 

Though profit-sharing schemes are open to many diffi- 
culties I can conceive no better or fairer method of avert- 


ing great industrial troubles and securing an improved 
relationship between capital and labour. Labour in the 
future will not be content solely with a living wage, but 
will always demand a fair share in the profits resulting 
from the joint contribution of both, after capital has 
received a reasonable interest. Profit-sharing enables 
this to be done automatically. By it the interests of both 
capital and labour seem identical. The labourer receives 
the standard rate of wages, or a "living wage." Capital 
receives a minimum rate of interest or a " living wage." 
The remaining profit is divided proportionately between 
them. Over and above this economic business arrange- 
ment, however, there must be a more humane and 
sympathetic interest on both sides than is common in most 
business relations. Then the basis of goodwill and 
harmonious working will be securely laid, and given such 
ground, a well thought out scheme of profit-sharing should 
not only be beneficial, to both capital and labour, but do 
something towards ending the present antagonism between 
them and bringing nearer that consummation devoutly to 
be wished — " Industrial Peace." 




Sentiment has brought us together. Certainly it is 
sentiment which has helped to place me in my present 
position as your President. You have recognised, I 
feel, a sentiment on my part of affection for the Society, 
of pride in its traditions, of faith in its purpose — further- 
more, you have, with a tender sympathy, observed that 
this presidential office possesses for me the closest 
personal memories, an intimate sentiment. I share with 
you the recollection of its tenure by many valued friends. 
You, either through record or by experience, share with 
me the memory of its tenure by my father. 

My father brought me first to the Society before my 
school days — long before I was eligible for membership — 
but if I was ineligible for election, I was being prepared for 
candidature. I was brought up in the intellectual faith of 
the Literary and Philosophical Society — brought up in the 
belief that the aims it sought were of the things that really 
mattered — that its barter of thought and ideas constituted 
a Stock Exchange in which all transactions resulted in profit 
— where, to paraphrase a sentence of our centennial 
historian, a late and honoured predecessor (Mr. Hampden 
Jackson), " we learned and unlearned " — where, to recall 
Robert Louis Stevenson citing the words of a Belgian, 
after being " employed over frivolous mercantile concerns 
during the day, in the evening we found some hours for 
the serious concerns of life." 

This contrast of the material and the spiritual exchange 


is a recovery, rather than a discovery, in the pages of 
Stevenson. Allowing for the higher colouring of the 
imagery of the Orient, the same idea runs through an 
epilogue read at the close of each Talmudical tractate-it 
is a thank-offering that the lot of the scholar has been cast 
among those that dwell in the houses of learning, and not 
amongst the occupants of the markets. They (the 
scholars) arise early, and so do the men on 'change. The 
scholars arise to the words of learning, the others to the 
words of vanity. The scholars strive and the men on 
'change strive. But the scholars receive their reward, 
while the men on 'change strive in vain. The scholars 
pursue the imperishable, while the men on 'change pursue 
the perishable. 

We may remember the happy lines* which seek to 
express the Oxford outlook — 

No room is here for loud material clatter, 

Thought, mind, ideas, these are the things that matter. 

But the early Talmudists, like those of to-day, realised 
that action as well as thought was necessary, and they 
laid it down that an " excellent thing was learning when 
combined with some worldly occupation"! — an Hebraic 
parallel to the Aristotelian 

(vepyeia ■^v^f)! kut' aptrrjv apiaTTjv 

perfect realisation of the true soul and self in a complete 
life — the active life of a rational being, t So that the ideal 
Talmudist was at once a man of action, as well as of 
thought, at home in the workshop or in the open as in the 
House of Learning, just as the ideal philosopher of 

' Euervman's Education, by C. Myles Mathews and Wilfred C. 
Matbews. Morality Play. 

t Pirhe Aboth., II, 2. J Eth. Nic, I, 7, 14. 


Aristotle was the complete citizen. The spheres were 
complementary, not antithetical — and such an ideal 
inspired William Roscoe, pre-eminent among our spiritual 
founders, who had grouped around him those who felt that 
these ancient ideals — which in different forms had found 
such rich expression in the old-time Italian city states and 
the guild craftsmen in Central Europe — should be realised 
in Liverpool — and Athenaeum, Literary and Philosophical 
Society, and Royal Institution are monuments of their own 
building. Of these foundations, our Society has been 
perhaps the most active — the Athenaeum has given us 
books, the Royal Institution a home, but to our Society 
has been entrusted the handing on of the humanist tradi- 
tion by creative effort. 

The members of the Society were as members of a 
" Collegium "—;a college — which ante-dated, as often, the 
" Universitas " — the Royal Institution, The members of 
the Council were the Fellows or the Benchers, and every 
year or alternate year one was elected its President. 
Graduation in this Society was felt to be in reality a 
Degree, and election to its Council a Fellowship, and to be 
chosen its President a Prize which, in the realm of Liver- 
pool spheres of things of the mind, was valued deeply and 

Like philosophy itself, its progress made for ramifica- 
tion and the Society has a large family of descendants. 

Those of us who were scientists and had a benevolent 
leaning in favour of the humanities, and those of us who 
were humanists, and humanists all the time, held firmly 
with Virgil — 

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas, 

as Matthew Arnold turned it, " He was happy, if to know 
causes of things." 


Our register — the monumental rolls compiled by Mr, 
Hampden Jackson — gives us a record of the members of 
our Society — a record m wealth of biographical detail 
unique in its completeness. But that record is not merely 
for us. It will form the indispensable source from which 
the future historian of Liverpool as a centre of cultivated 
thought and trained endeavour must necessarily and thank- 
fully draw. 

An admirable map of the intellectual territory we 
have explored during the first lOO years of our in years 
of activity is available in the profoundly interesting 
Centenary Index. If you will scan that map you will see 
what areas we have covered, in some cases covered over 
again, in not a few cases discovered. But we can also, if 
we scan closely and with vigilance, endeavour to find some 
tract of land still open to the explorer — not an easy task 
to find a " terra nova " on the map, still less so, to carry out 
the expedition. But nothing ventured, nothing done. 

I believe I have discovered an unmhabited place, so 
far as our map of the territory shows, and I am going to 
peg out a claim. It is the territory of Sentiment. Many 
have, no doubt, skirted upon its boundaries — have even 
looked around^ — but have returned to the main road. Not 
that I would suggest that sentiment has left them alone. 
They were all Literary and Philosophical men and women 
and to be of the " Literary and Philosophical " is to be of 
those of whom each can say with whole heart, " Humani 
nihil a me alienum ptito." And sentiment is of the essence 
of humanity. 

But they have been perhaps somewhat frightened, 
somewhat shy, of sentiment. Greatly daring, I take it as 
the theme of my presidential address, viewing it from this 
place from a philosophical aspect, so far as my vision 
enables me. 


I make no attempt to define " Sentiment " — I could, of 
course, make the well-known gesture, the last resort of 
an examination candidate when at his wit's end to answer 
a question, and say that " definition belongs to the end of 
knowledge and not the beginning " — a convenient and 
ever-blessed escape not unknown even to technical writers 
in the various arts and sciences — but I do endeavour to 
justify my reluctance to define sentiment — for it is my 
fervent belief that sentiment cannot be defined — definition 
IS the very negation of sentiment — and the proof of the 
pudding is in the eating thereof. Sentiment never comes 
to a full stop — ^never ends — never says good-bye — is 
immortal — lives on very actively — is existent from the 
beginning of things, coming down to us in the form of what 
we include under the term "tradition." "Tradition and 
life " form the fountain-head of the real, the true senti- 
ment — whose waters, like the everlasting torrents, shall 
flow on quenching yet unquenchable " until time shall be 
no more." 

The sight of beautiful waterfalls prompts the thought 
that these have been going on for all time— ^the eternal urge 
to rhythm, to vitality, to movement — and sentiment urges 
to vitality with rhythmic movement. Like those waters, 
it rushes down in torrents to slake the thirsts of countless 
generations, to fill the rivers, to water the lands and to 
help the work of the annual miracle of spring — and yet 
" though all the rivers run into the sea, the sea is not full," 
the Hebrew thinker of Ecclesiastes tells us. Nor can 
humanity be so filled with sentiment that it need no more — 
like the sea, rivers of it cannot give it too much of the 
living waters. A new reading can be given to his words, 
" The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled 
with hearing," It is the heart of humanity which is ever 
hungering, and sentiment, to change the metaphor, is the 



one manna from heaven which is its imperishable food — 
perishable alone when the material minded hoard it instead 
of renewing it daily. How beautiful, too, is the imagery 
of its retained sweetness over the Day of Rest — that the 
Day of Rest shall have its due measure of " sweetness and 
light"— that "sweetness and light," sentiment, the 
heavenly gift, shall be no mere aftermath of the day's 
labour, but that a whole day shall be lived when labour 
and toil and winning matter shall not be all in all, but that 
there shall be the heaven — sent gift abounding, and life 
shall consist of the sheer joy of living, of happy thought, 
of inspiration, of communion with reality. 

Try to define sentiment by any process and you will 
find it indefinable. You know full well that what gladdens 
and heartens you cannot be described, although there can 
be any number of attempts at depicting the outward 
manifestations. A view of King's College, Cambridge, in 
the moonlight, All Souls at Oxford in the full flush of a 
summer sunset, the promise of spring in the Tempk 
Gardens, a May morning in Lincoln's Inn, a rain- 
bow over the Dee by the Welsh Hills, a David 
Cox vista where the three rivers meet and the 
counties of Carnarvon and Denbigh stand by, a Turner 
sundown viewed from our Lancashire sands by the 
neighbouring shore, some dance rhythm or march-step 
which alters the beat of your pulse, the sound of a trumpet, 
the glint of an eye, the music of a voice or the trill of a 
laugh — every one of them speaks in a language which, 
like music itself, is a universal language. It is the mother- 
tongue called sentiment, common to all humanity. That 
mother-tongue can become the cultivated exponent of the 
most subtle and delicate thoughts, or, undeveloped or mis- 
developed, can be the vehicle of the sudden ejaculations 
characteristic of untutored mankind. Yet, again, turn 


that mother-tongue over to the grammarians and we shall 
get nouns and adjectives and verbs and adverbs and all 
the parts of speech — but the dove of poetry will have flown 
from the ark. 

Let me take an illustration from the art nearest to me. 
Nothing is more fascinating and yet more baffling than the 
pursuit of the theory of music. Musical analysis — the 
technique of it — is well within the reach of anyone devoted 
to it. But you only reach the means thereby — never the 
actual message. There is, for instance, a very beautiful 
chord on the sub-dominant of the relative minor. 
Converted melodically into its component notes, it has 
a particularly heart-reaching effect. Hear it, and then 
recline, I hope, with satisfaction that it is a chord 
on the sub-dominant of the relative minor. It is 
a very good thing to know, and a still better thing, after 
knowing it, to send it back to the harmony book and revel 
in beauty for beauty's sake. It is important to know that 
the rolling eloquence of Lucretius is cast in the form of 
Hexameters, but it is much better to realise that Lucretius 
made the Hexameters, and not the Hexameters Lucretius. 

To cultivate the mind that the heart shall enjoy the 
more fully is a noble exercise — to cultivate the mind and 
leave the heart untouched is to make of humanity ready 
reckoners, directories, dictionaries, encyclopaedias — none 
of which, like faith, can bring forth new hope — and faith 
is a venture just over the horizon of reason — and there can 
hardly be any faith whose roots are not watered by springs 
from the fountain-head of sentiment. 

Most of us are much more full of sentiment, more 
actuated by sentiment, than many of us care to admit. 
Our reluctance to admit the fact is partly due to the 
mischief caused in this and in other matters by question- 
begging epithets. Sentiment as a valued force in life has 



been heavily discounted by the adjective sentimental, and 
more so by the abstract noun sentimentality. But in con- 
sidering sentiment, remember that there is no merit nor 
quality in the world which by a like process cannot suffer 
a degree of discount. Question-begging epithets, like 
portmanteau words, put a premium upon mental inertia 
and lead to the adoption of ready-made ideas, and, like 
much ready-made clothing, very often fit badly. Let us 
be candid and admit that sentiment is a vast and a power- 
ful factor in our thoughts and actions, and, my submission 
is, rightly directed, the essence of humanity. 

If we try to disclaim sentiment our actions belie us. 
When we devote ourselves to the service of faith we deck 
our places of worship, each in its own way, with the 
symbols of sweetness and light — we entwine around them 
the emblems of sentiment. When we wish to do honour, to 
please anyone, we offer that which appeals to their senti- 
ments — we greet them with music, with flowers, with 
poetry, or eloquence m prose, or we give them products 
of the plastic arts — in other words, we tender them Beauty 
— beauty of form or matter or manner, so that when we 
exalt cold reason or asceticism or hardness we are either 
inconsistent in our tributes to others — do we offer them as 
gifts illustrations of these ideals? — or we are inconsistent 
in our philosophy. The ceremonial occasions of life are 
so many symphonies of sentiment — sentiment is their life, 
their very being — from the coronation of a king to the 
wedding of a peasant.. Our association of sentiment with 
these ceremonies is the fullest testimony to the place which 
sentiment occupies in the soul of humanity. But these 
events serve but to crown sentiment — not to confine it. 

A capacity for enjoyment is the real test of the appre- 
ciation of life. There is one kind of wealth in abundance 
m the world which hes before our feet and above our heads 


if we have the vision to behold it. It is to be found in 
the quest for things of the heart, of imagination, every- 
where. The hfe of organised fellowship, represented in 
our oldest universities and in the Inns of Court, was decked 
throughout in a rich garb of sentiment. Go to Oxford 
and to Cambridge and see scholarship and wisdom set 
amid all the beauty which wrought stone, trim garden and 
stained glass can set forth. The finely-adjusted college 
loyalties, inspired and maintained by an unescapable 
heraldry, spell sentiment, like the chimes peal it from 
tower to tower. Leave the busy Strand and Fleet Street 
and go down Middle Temple Lane, and enter into the 
domains of the Bar of England, where legal learning has 
reigned supreme for centuries. There amid the splash 
of the fountains, stands the venerable Inn of the Middle 
Temple with its gardens and dream-laden trees, its rows 
of quadrangular courts of chambers, a veritable oasis of 
inspiration — the inspiration of thought and culture and 
tradition — set amid pathways of beauty and peace, an oasis 
but a few yards from the hurly-burly of material life. 
Flowers, music, the play, the dance, all in due season have 
found here, as in the other Inns of Courts, a home — a home 
for the graces of life ; to quote Ben Johnson, " the noblest 
nurseries of humanity and liberty in the kingdom." A 
few steps brings you to the sister Inn, the Inner Temple, 
and beyond the boundary the Thames flows on in its 
imperturbable continuity. Leaving the Temple area, and 
on the other side of the desert of traffic, lies Lincoln's 
Inn, the home of the Chancery Bar, a serene oasis, matched 
by Gray's Inn, the other of the Barristers' London homes, 
a restful beauty spot, tucked away behind the roar of 
Holborn's highway. 

No one can reasonably suppose that it is mere accident 
that these Inns have from olden times housed some of 


England's greatest poets and men of letters, of those who 
have practised the art of life and not only the science of 
law. No one can reasonably suppose that the Benchers, the 
legal heads of these Honourable Societies, have regarded 
such men as anomalous, and not of the very essence of 
the Inns. As Maitland observed, " The Inns of Court are 
the most purely English of all English institutions and the 
influence they exercised over the current of our national 
life could not easily be over-rated." Those of us who have 
been privileged to belong to these stately homes of 
Englishry know that sentiment is something which has 
made the English Bar what it is in English life — 
the sentiment of humanism which the Inns of Court 
express and impress upon all who come under their 
influence. Our circuit messes develop the sentiment of 
comradeship, and thus the cold reasonings and disputations 
of the law are warmed by the genial sentiments of tradition 
and fellowship. Two French terms, " camaraderie " and 
" esprit de corps," express characteristics of army life 
which are nothing if not sentiment consciously raised to a 
principle — and those of us who have had associations with 
the nautical world know what sentiments attach to a 
ship and to a crew — how a life at sea exercises an 
imperishable fascination. Organised fellowship begets 
sentiments of loyalty and whole strata of these loyalties 
may be possessed by one who has belonged to school, 
college. University, Inn of Court, or unit in the Navy or 
Army, or, taking other spheres. City, Borough, County, 
Society, Club. 

Given tradition or eager aspiration and a setting of 
beauty, the sentiment will be self-impressive — the entity 
will impress of its own strength. But when not so 
endowed or favoured the sentiment must be cultivated, if 
it is to exist and flourish. It is here where we need the 


capacity to discover the richness in sentiment which 
life presents to us at every turn, if we are only alert 
enough, eager enough, sensitive enough to draw of its 

To value sentiment at its real worth, to see its possi- 
bilities for good, to appreciate the blankness of existence 
in its absence, it is necessary to reflect upon the great 
enigmas of human life on earth. 

We are such stuff as seafarers are made of and our 
httle voyage is rounded off by a harbour. We call at ports 
and view the scenes and dance on board and make mer'-y 
dalliance. We are very critical of this and very critical 
of that — but when we pause to think, the ship and all 
aboard are a speck on the ocean, and when that speck 
has floated its course we and our baggage will disembark 
and take our places in the custom house, passports ready, 
and go through the turnstile of a new territory. The one 
thing that is more difficult to rationalise than the being of 
humanity is its passing. Spirituality alone solves the 
problem, more by faith than by thought, more by hope 
than by reason — by the trustful heart rather than the 
questioning mind. The desire to " cast one long lingering 
look behind " upon " the warm precincts of the cheerful 
day " is testimony to the belief that humanity, made in 
the Divine image, has, like its Maker, seen everything that 
has been made "and behold it was very good." The 
philosophy of Gray's Elegy, as Dr. Johnson said, 
*' abounds with images which find a mirror in every mind 
and with sentiments to which every bosom can return an 
echo." How necessary it is for enjoying the possession of 
life to reflect upon its nature. In order to value possession 
we must contemplate dispossession. Youth is so conscious 
of possession that it cannot envisage its deprival — and we 
carry that right on into later life until at some given 


moment our certitude comes to a halt by a loss. Then we 
make a real account of the estate of our departed— a real 
valuation of what they were— and the account we present 
to our own hearts and minds. Our whole method of calcu- 
lation has altered— it cures us of talking of " passing the 
time." Passing the time? What would we not give to 
get back some of it! Passing the time? Are we so 
certain that we have such a large stock of it that we can 
throw it away? Modern life tends to strengthen still 
more our fragile certitude. We think of life in terms of 
trains. We shall go by the 5.20 and come back to-morrow 
by the 5.55 — all being well, we will — and in our hurry 
to catch the train we have no time for our fellows because, 
of course, we shall see them to-morrow or next week. But 
can we be certain? The train will come back perhaps — 
but shall we be travellers ? It is when we lose (if only even 
temporarily) that we can measure our gains — and by even 
temporary loss we can learn to value the inspiration of 
sentiment. I travel away from those dear to me — and 
each mile is a conscious distancing which can be felt. I 
return, and as each mile brings me nearer I feel a different 
movement, a gladdening, heartening movement. How 
much richer, how much more generous, is life made by the 
conscious experience of these feelings, these emotions? 
And each distancing makes one the more eager to make the 
most of the nearing, the welcome meeting, the presence, 
the re-union. We never perhaps fully value what we 
have until we have not — loss is the real measure of posses- 
sion. Let us value what we have — let us remember that 
every loss was once a possession. To value what we have 
to the full, sentiment, cultivated and well directed, is the 
key. " What is our life " says Lamartine in the Medita- 
tions Podtiques, " but a series of preludes to that unknown 
song whose first solemn note is sounded by death ? " But 


he promptly adds : " Love forms the enchanted dawn of 
every existence."* 

Some of us will recollect that noble " Symphonic Pcem" 
of Liszt called, after this Meditation, " Les Preludes," 
from which the composer derived its inspiration. 

How can we enjoy life to the full, enjoy by giving as 
well as by getting, if we leave sentiment for to-morrow, for 
next time? "Pallida mors aequo piilsat pede pauperuin 
tabernas regumque turres." " Pale death with impartial 
foot comes knocking at the huts of the poor and the palaces 
of kings." But these lines of Horace can be read in the 
light of a saying of Herbert Tree : " It is death which opens 
the door to love." And the value which these writers would 
have us derive from the contemplation of loss is the greater 
appreciation of possessioii ; the contemplation of passing 
should give us a deeper appreciation of being. For as 
Solomon sang in his song, " Love is strong as death " — 
" many waters cannot quench it — neither can the floods 
drown it." We can get all of this philosophy reviewed in 
anticipation. We can find it in Ecclesiastes with its 
humanity edged by a comforting note of spirituality lack- 
ing in the post-Biblical quotations I have just cited. 
Ecclesiastes, looked at from the standpoint of literature, 
is not a book, but a whole philosophy — a synthesis of the 
ideals of Hebraism, tinctured by currents characteristic of 
Hellenic thought at its best and with notes anticipatory of 
much that is noblest in Latin culture. We are bidden to 
remember that there is a time for everything — that " the 
light is sweet and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to 
behold the sun " ; to remember " the days of darkness 
(XI, 7, 8), and " that He hath made everything beautiful 

• " Notre vie est-elle autre chose qu'une serie de Preludes k ce chant, 
inconnu dent la mort entonne la premiere et solennelle note? L'amour 
forme laurore enchant^e de toute existence." 


in its time," and " that there is nothing better than to 
rejoice and to get pleasure so long as they live (III, 11, 
12). Guided by the ethical teachings of the whole book 
these pleasures will be ennobling — with a leaning towards 
the joys of the earth, of the joys of simple, wholesome life. 
The more cultivated is the sense of sentiment the more can 
we extract pure joy from all around us. 

We need an extension of much that is spontaneous in 
the child heart right into later life. I recall with no regret, 
when as a child being taken to London, an ardent desire 
to thank the engine driver for having brought us there. I 
believe if my fellow-travellers and I had the courage to do 
so to-day — and we have not — we should do something to 
bring a better spirit between labour and the rest of society.* 
The incident was brought vividly before my mind when on 
holiday in Wales. I was travelling on the route of a single 
line of railway and at a wayside station the engine driver 
■slipped and sprained his foot. We had to wait at the station 
until another driver walked from the previous station, since, 
owing to the safety regulations, no other engine could 
bring him on the single line. The injured driver was 
placed on a seat and bore his evident pain with stoic 
cheerfulness. When the new driver arrived our train 
proceeded on its journey and all of us in our corridor 
observation car, as we passed our incapacitated friend, 
raised a tremendous cheer. The poor man, forgetful of 
his pain, was wreathed in smiles and gave us a splendid 
salute. A slight incident, I admit, but very meaningful. 
He was then not a " labour man " and we " capitaHsts " or 
"exploiters" or "shareholders" or " passengers "—we 

• Since writing the above my attention has been called to an illus- 
trated poster, issued by the Great Western Railway, depicting a passenger 
■shaking hands with the engine-driver, adding, " A splendid run 1 Thank 



were all just humanity — we just wanted to make each other 
as happy as possible — an object which should be in the 
" memorandum of association " of every human company — 
the greatest "object clause" which we frequently forget. 
Such incidents in practice are often more helpful than any 
amount of economic theorising — for heart can readily move 
when head cannot convince. 

We are at times too neglectful of the inspiration of the 
highways and by-ways — they are highways and by-ways 
full of sentiment as of humanity and of nature. Read, for 
instance, Dixon Scott's Liverpool, and awaken to the 
romance and glamour of our own city. Each page evokes 
a thought of some street, some corner, some building, 
some vista. Each of these are linked with memories, 
impressions, emotions, — ideas. They stand for more than 
what they appear. They live. We are the better for the 
richer life we derive from these experiences. I have two 
books in my library which testify that there is glamour 
everywhere if we have eyes of the heart — a heart's eye 
as well as a mind's eye — one is called The Glamour of 
Oxford and the other The Glamour of Manchester. There 
is plenty of glamour in Manchester, if we see through the 
smoke the ideal of aspiration and betterment which have 
made the Owens' College, the several libraries, and the 
Halle Orchestra memorable institutions throughout the 
world, and as for the glamour of Oxford, I can envisage 
quite clearly the type of mind that exists which it escapes, 
the type which on beholding Magdalen Tower, would 
consider the feasibility of installing a lift or a semaphore 
system to direct the traffic at Carfax. As for me, I am 
on the side of the Angels, and I prefer to be uplifted in 
Magdalen walks than to be lifted up to Magdalen Tower. 
Our pilgrimages when we visit places of historic 
interest often testify to the supreme appeal of sentiment. 


Intimate personal associations will naturally predominate — 
but after their demands have been satisfied we go not where 
mind dictates but where heart directs. Magdalen and 
All Souls at Oxford insistently call— Magdalen, by the 
beautiful setting in its cloistered detachment, and All 
Souls by the spell of its own beauty and the associations 
of its treasured fellowship. When at Cambridge, is it 
to the laboratories that the visitor in search of the 
Cambridge atmosphere betakes himself? By all accounts 
the road to Cambridge's Magdalene — the " love of a little 
college," as a Cambridge writer terms it — has become the 
pilgrim's path since its Master, Dr. A. C. Benson, has 
recorded that mellow view of life gained From a College 
Windoiv. I admit that Downing drew me because 
it was the home of Maitland. Not just because Maitland 
was a learned jurist. That is only one facet. It 
was because Maitland linked law with life, made of the 
study of English law a warm-hearted, human study — 
because he clothed the dry bones of legalism with the 
sinews and flesh of human life, because, in the words of 
the late Master of Balliol* " behind the writer and thinker 
there was the man." At the home where that beautiful 
nature spent its busy life of inspiration, at the home of 
Maitland the humanist, the artist, whom the law claimed 
but never monopolised, there one caught something of the 
sentiment that gives law its essential humanity. And then 
all roads lead to Grantchester, which Rupert Brooke has 
made immortal. Mr. Birrell has charmingly told us that 
Cambridge boasts its pre-eminence in poets, told so many 
of us who have thought of it as a place of Wranglers. 
" King's " speaks its own message — a message eloquent in 
its easeful certitude— a message of rich tradition in 
humanist fellowship and ever active aspiration. There is 



no part which has not the " magic of place," to borrow the 
happy paraphrase of Herbert Coleridge Watson. 

The recent publication of a set of views of our own 
University must have given to many a realised appreciation 
of the " magic of place," of the call of " Alma Mater," of 
" Domus " — of the halo which humanity can confer. One 
recalls the request of a classical scholar at Oxford to 
accompany him over his old college, unvisited since his 
graduation — the place was charged to the full with the 
emotions of an earlier day — the safety valve of companion- 
ship was necessary — a protective alliance to meet the 
unescapable pressure of memories. 

Sentiment does not take kindly to solitude, although 
solitude is often provocative of sentiment. Sentiment is 
associational — essentially attachable . 

The passionate appeal of the sound of any historic 
language, of a city, of a town, of a village, is this short- 
hand transcribed to the speech of life. The pulling down 
of an old building has a pathos all its own — and a ruin 
has a moving eloquence. There is encouragement in the 
flag flying, and the last day's service of an old worker is 
a day instinct with a vivid feeling. There is a conscious 
fellowship in a crowd, for one hearty laugh or lump in 
the throat makes the whole world kin. 

The appeal of the Arts forms another testimony of 
sentiment's power. Music, architecture, sculpture, paint- 
ing, and all forms of pictorial craft appeal to us first 
through the emotions, secondly an intellectual process may 
explain the obscure, or (by throwing light on the less 
obvious) add to our range of observation — and ultimately 
the appeal to the emotions returns. Professor Reilly's 
recent book upon Liverpool architecture* will serve as an 

* Somt Livtrpqol Stretts and Buildings in 1921, by Professor C. H. 
Reilly. Published by Tki Livirpool Daily Post and Mertury. 


illustration. In the first place we may admire a building — 
we may then (after reading the book) not only find a 
technical reason to explain the bases of the art manifested 
but also our eyes may be directed to features we did not 
observe— finally on viewing the building our gathered 
knowledge will sink back in the mind and reinforce the 
elemental emotional appeal. 

Our desire for public buildings of beauty, for town 
planning, for spacious parks and be-flowered gardens, for 
an array of pictures and sculpture, for renderings of 
music, all these are so many testimonies to our belief in 
the cultivation of sentiment, of cultivated sentiment — for 
sentiment in the last analysis is feeling. An age, a nation, 
that stands for sentiment, for beauty, for the attainment 
of an ideal of perfection, endears itself to all, for all time. 
The Age of Pericles in Greece, the hey-day of Italy's 
cultural opulence, Elizabethan .England, have won an im- 
perishable place in the hearts of the world. The Jewish 
people (whose aesthetic tendencies have never been fully 
realised) look to the Spanish period of their history as 
their Golden Age since the Dispersion — not because of its 
material prosperity, nor its civic opportunities, but because 
then the Jewish heart and mind found rich expres- 
sion in a veritable outburst of prose and poetry, of 
philosophy, of literary art, of passionate imagination. It 
was then that Jehudah Halevi sang his heart out for 
his beloved Land of Israel — a Jewish Dante with 
Jerusalem as his Beatrice. Halevi fired the mind of Heine, 
who by his poem has brought Halevi into the general 
currency of cultivated European thought. 

I shall not stray into the fascinating by-path of Israel's 
work in the Renaissance— Jewry emphasising the com- 
munity of humanity in the glorious efflorescence of 
humanism. I have mentioned it to show that it is common 


to humanity in its heart of hearts to love best its kith 
and kin at its golden age — an age not of metallic gold» 
but of the purer gold of the spirit, of the heart and soul. 
As with ages and peoples, so with writers and artists and 
leaders in action. The most human is the most loved. 
Plato is nearer to most than Aristotle — not because Plato 
spoke more of beauty, but that he spoke beauty — because 
he voiced sentiments that some of us have felt innate in 
ourselves, confirming his own view that we have seen the 
vision before. (Phredrus, 250 B.) With all his mysticism, 
his transcendentalism, it is his humanity that reaches us — 
that makes the " Republic " eternally current. The senti- 
ment of matter as much as the beauty of manner makes 
the Greek anthology a flower garden. When we turn to 
Latin literature. there is no author so beloved as Horace — 
Horace, who utters with silvery eloquence the very 
thoughts which come haltingly to our mind. It is not only 
his humanity but his kindly humanity, his homely 
sentiment, which reaches us. No one can deny the 
humanism of Juvenal. What finer preface to any book than 
those lines — 

Quid agunt homines, votuin timor, ira voluptas gaudia 
discursus nostri farrago libelli est. 

The whole gamut of man's doings, wishes, fears, angers, 
desires, joys, business, that is the hotch-potch, the pot-pourri of 
my book. 

I give you the rendering of one of my classical teachers, 
the late Professor Strong, whose fame and personality will 
be recalled with gratitude by those in whom he inspired 
a love of the humanities and an appreciation of the ideals 
for which humanism stands. 

Juvenal, when his pen is not dipped in vinegar, 
IS preaching at us— his satire bites— his indignation, not 
always well-informed, is often excessive and out of scale. 


But Horace sits m an armchair and talks not at us but to 
us— with us. To change the metaphor, he is m the same 
boat with us— and that is why Horace m every age takes 
his place among the contemporary poets. I expect that 
Mozart owes his perennial freshness to his good humour, 
and Beethoven to his capacity for fun as well as for the 
serious moods of life. Bach is growing into favour because 
at last his liveliness is being realised— and, when all is said 
and done, the Wagnerian Valhalla is nearest to us, not 
with " the entrance of the gods," but with its inhabitants 
on earth. It is the humanity of the " Meistersinger " 
which will outlive all the polemics of the composer's 
career. It is the one work of Wagner in which humanity 
has full play. How much worthier it would have been for 
Wagner if instead of writing " JudaiSm in Music " he 
would have written of the " Music in Judaism." The great 
movement to-day to develop musical appreciation is not 
so much a movement on behalf of technique as a move- 
ment (nvay from it — to spread the desire not to play a 
little, but to feel much — net to know, but to understand — 
not to hsten, but to hear. 

" How many of us are doomed to go through life with 
eyes that see, ears that hear, minds that admire, spirits 
that reverence, but not with hearts that enjoy?" These 
are the words of Herbert Coleridge Watson a writer and 
a valiant soldier, whose literary legacy has been preserved 
in a volume of collected papers.* 

That hearts may enjoy — that is the mainspring of all 
that is hopeful in our endeavours of to-day. We are less 
afraid than formerly to confess our love for things human 
than in days gone by — another hopeful sign. At one time 
we thought so much of soul that we forgot body. " To 
conclude ascetically," says Robert Louis Stevenson, " is 

' Selected Essay, mid Rcviiws, publibleJ by F. R. Hdckliffe, Bedford, 1921. 


to give up and not solve the problem." Then there came 
a time when there was too much thought of body and soul 
was forgotten. 

Stevenson says — 

But the demand of the soul is that we shall not pursue broken 
ends, but great and comprehensive purposes in which body and 
soul may unite like notes in a harmonious chord. The soul 
demands unity of purpose, not the dismemberment of man ; it 
seeks to roll up all his strength and sweetness, all his passion and 
wisdom, into one, and make him a perfect man exulting in 

You will find this and other passages set forth in 
Professor Muirhead's lecture on " Stevenson's Philosophy 
of Life."* " R. L. S." is a beloved figure m English 
literature, and largely because he was a man of sentiment — 
of sentiments. ' Sentiments are not always made to melt 
in the mouth — there are hard chocolates as well, very 
tasteful when successfully negotiated. If Stevenson had 
a sensitive palate, it was sensitive only in that it enjoyed 
to the full — it relished — it did not want a diet of delicacies 
alone. That is where sentiment has suffered — it has been 
incorrectly associated with the wafers of life, whereas it 
alone can extract the taste out of a sailor's biscuit. 

One endowed with this capacity to get the best out of 
things can enjoy the simplest meal as well as the most 
sumptuous feast. In fact, those who can enjoy a banquet 
most are just those who can rhapsodise over the homely 
fare of the country cottage, the country inn — the zest of 
enjoyment which can extract delight out of all demands 
not luxuriance nor abundance, but excellence — and the 
scent for the excellent, for the essence of things, is the hall- 
mark of the artist in life. The unappreciative will not 

• Philosophy and Lift, published by Sonnenschein, 1902. 


taste the sweetness of the simple meal— its very attributes 
are unobserved. 

No one in English literature has expressed this senti- 
ment for the simple things of life more aptly than 

A writer in the Times Literary Supplement, in an article 
entitled " Pure Literature," describes this quest for the 
rapturous. " The desire for an absolute," he observes, " is 
not an abstraction — it manifests itself to those who desire 
it passionately in a face, an attitude, a symbol, some 
moment of experience." I would emphasise these words 
" desire it passionately." For the highway of humanity is 
flowered with the roses of ardent life if we but turn to 
behold them — we must desire them passionately and not 
have our eyes fixed straight ahead on the market-place 
alone. Nature and humanity (in themselves and in the 
work they have wrought) form the richest assets of our 
life, and how often do we neglect to bring them into 
account, except when they become valued in terms of 
material thought? The open road, whence Nature in all 
its grandeur its mystery and its simplicity may be viewed, is 
either an open " tube " or a standpoint from which to catch 
a glimpse of reality — which it is, depends upon ourselves. 
There is the eye of sight and the eye of vision — the mind's 
eye, the heart's eye, the soul's eye. 

Wordsworth gives us the whole philosophy in the 

Glutton Brock declares that — 

Music itself is the creation of a new state of being, .... You 
feel when hearing it you are living a new existence ; you have 
gone a point further than you have ever imagined possible. The 
musician when he makes his music is not copying something out 
of his mind by the very process of making notes, he is making a 
new kind of life for himself. 


John Henry Newman, an artist as well as leader in 
spiritual thought, said — 

Yet is it possible that that inexhaustible evolution and dis- 
position of notes, so rich yet so simple, so intricate yet so 
regulated, so various yet so majestic, should be a mere sound 
which is gone and perishes ? Can it be that these mysterious 
stirrings of heart and keen emotions .... should be wrought 
in us by what is unsubstantial and comes and goes and begins and 
ends itself ? It is not so : it cannot be. No. They have escaped 
from some higher sphere; they are the outpourings of eternal 
harmony in the medium of created sound. 

Dr. A. C. Benson observes — 

I always feel that the instinct for beauty is perhaps the surest 
indication of some essence of immortality in the soul ; and indeed 
there are moments when it gives one the sense of pre-existence, 
that one has loved these fair things in a region that is further back 
even than the beginnings of consciousness. 

I think this experience of realised Platonism must have 
been felt by many — that curious feeling of ease and 
familiarity when hearing some great music for the first 
time, or seeing some great sight a — feeling of inevitable- 
ness — a feeling that art should be spelled ought, and nature, 
must. This had to be — it is of the very stuff of life. 

To quote Dr. Benson again — 

There is, I am sure, in the hearts of many quiet people a real 
love for and delight in the beauty of the kindly earth, the silent 
and exquisite changes, the influx and efflux of life, which we call 
seasons, the rich transfiguring influence of sunrise and sunset, the 
slow and swift lapse of clear streams, the march and plunge of 
sea-billows, the bewildering beauty and aromatic scents of those 
delicate toys of God which we call flowers, the large air and the 
sun, the star-strewn spaces of the night. 

It is the sense of sentiment which translates the 
appearances of nature into the reality of human 
experiences — of human experiences which can move, can 


inspire, can comfort, can appeal. Well might they 
all be explained in terms of logical precision, of 
scientific accuracy. Yet not in this light will the heart be 
quickened— but the mind alone set at rest, or at doubt. It 
is the vein of sentiment that adjusts the focus of the eye, 
and there is not merely sight but vision. 

The charm and magic of of place, the moving eloquence 
of still and silent vistas, the grandeur and beauty of nature, 
from all we have drawn inspiration — but there remains 
the great link of kinship — the infinite fascination of per- 
sonality. The " trottoir mobile " of life presents to us an 
ever-changhig panorama of humanity passing to and fro 
on the iourney which mankind takes through the pathway 
of the world. Are we quite sure that we are sympathetic 
spectators? We know that mankind was made a little 
lower than the angels — but are we not prone to emphasise 
the lower and forget the angels ? I may here quote the 
Master of Magdalene, Dr. Benson — 

The only beauty that is worth anything is the beauty perceived 
in sincerity, and here again the secret lies in resolutely abstaining 
from laying down laws, from judging, from condemning. The 
victory always remains with those who admire rather than with 
those who deride, and the power of appreciating is worth any 
amount of the power of despising. 


How human these words are can be tested by each of 

In another place he observes — 

The talks that remain in my mind as of pre-eminent interest 
are long, leisurely tete-a-tete talks, oftenest perhaps of all in the 
course of a walk .... when a pleasant countryside tunes 
the spirit to a serene harmony of mood, and when the mind, 
stimulated into a joyful readiness by association with some quiet, 

just, and perceptive companion Then is the time to 

penetrate into the inmost labyrinths of a subject, to indulge in 
pleasing discussions as the fancy leads one, and yet to return 


again and again with renewed relish to the central theme 

How such hours rise before the mind liven now as 

I write I think of such a scene .... on the broad yellow 

sands beside a Western sea We spoke of all that was 

in our hearts and all that we meant to be. That day was a great 

gift from God I like to think that there are many 

jewels of recollections clasped close in the heart's casket. 

Humanity is the greatest of all fellowships and to enjoy 
it to the full there must be a give and take. A broad, 
genial tolerance is the pre-requisite. When we come to 
analyse sentiment, we will se how largely the Aristotelian 
principle to ix.e<Tov, the golden mean— gauges its accurate 
dimensions. In the sphere of humanity we see the excess 
in the hero and heroine, and the bete-noir. Hero-worship 
which can see no spots on the sun is sentiment degenerated 
into sentimentality. Similarly, there are those who can 
never see the sun for the spots. This is but inverted 

Thereby we miss the good that is to be found in the 
worst and ignore the thorns in delight at the rose. Senti- 
mentality sees nothing but merits — prejudice nothing but 

But a delicately adjusted sentiment will realise that the 
very charm of personality, the very humanism of 
humanity, lies just in that tinge of variousness which is 
the essence of the human spirit. To have an ideal is very 
different from hero-worship, for it is of the nature of an 
ideal not to be on earth, but there is joy in its approxima- 
tion. The beauty of a sky-scape is not seen in a perpetual 
azure, but in the passage of flecking clouds, and the 
sunbeams emerging. Again, there is the subtle magic 
of mood and manner — how infinitely various and 
rich are those manifestations of the human soul ! There is 
the wondrous music of voice, of utterance, which no 

no PH 


musician can write down except upon the tablets of his 
heart. There is the divine gift of grace, which gives 
those endowed with it the power of perpetual, pervasive 
influence. They can round all the square corners of life. 

To me it seems that the occasional lack of smoothness 
gives a chance for artistry to plane the roughened surface. 
Music again gives us a helpful illustration. We play now- 
a-days to a scale slightly imperfect in its tonal disposition. 
It is called " equal temperament," because the slight 
discrepancy in the intervals spread over the whole gamut 
gives a range which taken as a whole is concordant. Under 
the old system the intervals were in perfect adjustment for 
a span, but as a whole the scale was unworkable. Is not 
this typical of humanity? Here and there slight dis- 
crepancies are inevitable if the whole keyboard of life is 
to be brought into play. 

That in reality we all admit sentiment is proved by our 
desire for keepsakes — those concrete treasures of memory, 
actually unnecessary for remembrance, as testified by our 
very desire to possess them. But the metaphorical keepsakes 
of our recollection afford still stronger evidence. Do we not 
all cherish the turns of phrases, the favourite gestures, the 
mannerisms, and almost reproduce the accents of a per- 
sonality that has meant, that means, much for us ? Their 
very weaknesses gain a certain strength. We can find all 
this aspect of the philosophy of sentiment in Robert 
Browning's Evelyn Hope, in Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 
Sonnets from the Portuguese. 

The difficulties are of our own creation for we are too 
busy misunderstanding each other, instead of trying to 
understand ourselves. Let us remember Juvenal's lines — 

R coelo descendit yvS>6i a-tavrbv figcndum et memori tract- 
andum pectore. 

From Heaven came the bidding '• man know thyself," to be 
taken to heart and implanted in the mind. 


For if we try to understand ourselves we shall become 
more generous to our fellows — more appreciative of their 
difficulties, more conscious of their efforts, more sensitive 
to their feelings. Perhaps something like this suggested 
the eulogies of epitaphs — they are not all insincere — there 
is a concentration, perhaps for the first time, on the good 
points in the life — it is at the root of the saying de mortuis 
nil nisi honum — too many in life get nil nisi malum. 

Personality invests with the glamour of association 
places here, there and everywhere. There's some corner 
at some given spot that is for ever someone. We are our 
own " historic society " affixing tablets at places we have 
j^own to love, places made precious by association. They 
greet us as we pass — pass ever so slightly slower — and 
waft to us memories of days that, though they have gone 
by, have not gone. There is the magic of sentiment in 
the fellowship qf joy and sorrow. Fellowship in joy is a 
self-evident manifestation of the hunger of humanity for 
feelings of gladness. Fellowship in sorrow is rather a 
manifestation of the human impulse to sympathy. The 
exercise of this sympathy is a very sure gauge of feeling. 
One can be impelled by the natural tendency to help in 
■distress, dry-eyed, stolid, like the certificated police-officer, 
one is at hand to bind the wounds, to keep a level head 
among a crowd of the distraught. The work done, the 
onlookers disperse, and the policeman continues on his 
beat. On the other hand, fellowship in sorrow may make 
•quite another wire of feeling alive. Transcending the 
consciousness of duty there arises such a quickened sense 
of sympathy that the comforter realises that he himself 
is grief-stricken — that here is no objective sympathy but 
a very full partnership in the assets of sorrow. To borrow 
a musical analogy, he finds himself in the minor key, and 
realises that he can only modulate therefrom in accordance 


with the harmonies with which his own part is sounding. 
Another facet of personahty is disclosed to him— the facet 
which perhaps most fully discloses the inner consciousness. 
Sentiment bids us hearken to humanity's demand as well 
as to personaHty's appeal. But I would emphasise here 
that sentiment is a sure guide to enable us to follow the 
bidding — yv^^j osuutov, know thyself. In sorrow we 
know whether we are just lifeboatmen, firemen, ambulance 
men, ready to bring to shore, to pitch the escape, to render 
first-aid, and then get back to our stations, or fellow- 
pedestrians on the walk of life, ready to give a helping 
hand with the impedimenta of the day's journey. 
Although weeping endure for a night, joy cometh in the 
morning, and the capacity to share joy is a very human 
test. It is my case that humanity has progressed very far 
in its readiness to give first-aid — to stand by in the storm 
— but in fair weather, unless personality links us, so far 
as regards humanity in general, there is too great a 
tendency for " every man to go his own way," to forget 
that " a word in due season, how good it is." We are so 
scientific in these days that we have condensed the milk 
of human kindness. Let us get back to the fresh milk — 
warm from the source. I adopt as my aspiration culture's 
ideal of human perfection, as Matthew Arnold stated it — 

An inward spiritual activity, having for its characters increased 
sweetness, increased light, increased life, increased sympathy. 

It is a profession of faith expressing the creed of 

Historically, sentiment appears early on the scene — 
the Pentateuch is full of it — from the romances of 
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to the home-sickness of Moses 
for the Promised Land. It is at the root of all Utopias — 
the constant passion for betterment. The Jews expressed 


it in their yearning for a Messianic era ; the Greeks, both 
in a Golden Age of legend and in the theoretical synthesis 
such as Plato's Republic ; the Romans, in the vision of a 
world ordered and regulated by the instrument of Empire. 
This sentiment for betterment inspires all these vistas — 
looking forward or looking backward to ideal prototypes. 
Throughout the ages there have appeared kindred spirits 
saying with Omar Khayyam — 

Ah! love, conld you and I with Him conspire 
To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire. 
Would not we shatter it to bits and then 
Ke-mould it nearer to the heart's desire 1 

Omar Khayyam expresses his wish in terms of 
rebellion, but an appreciation of sentiment might have 
turned many revolutions into reconstructions. 

In Greek literature sentiment in its flow was regulated 
by the Hellenic sense of realism. In Plato we find a 
stream of romantic emotion and mystic symbolism, which 
is attributed by scholars to Eastern influences, but the 
level is preserved by Aristotle. In Latin literature 
there was the Roman spirit of " gravitas " (inadequately 
translated " dignity "), which welled up to dilute any 
tendency to excess — but in the European writers the 
aisthetic appreciation of the joys of life was often piped to 
the themes of sentiment. The Aristotelian reaction in the 
Mediaeval era was offset by the rich vein of Semitic 
pofetry (Hebrew and Arabic) composed in Europe, and the 
Renaissance, with its Humanistic faith in expression and 
emancipation, re-awakened the sense of beauty and re- 
kindled the fires of emotion. Spenser and Shakespeare 
testify to the full. But if political and theological conflict 
still raged, the burning bush of sentiment was ever aflame, 
and in Rousseau, in Goethe, in Victor Hugo, in 
Beethoven abroad, and in Richardson, Sterne, Goldsmith, 


and Byron at home, the sentiment of humanity and the 
humanity of sentiment as conscious forces in the outlook 
upon hfe found exponents who were protagonists of a 

new era. 

There remain to be considered the philosophical 
aspects of sentiment, in the stricter sense of the term. I 
do not assert that sentiment is a philosophical system, 
but I submit there is a philosophy of sentiment— that a 
philosophy can be sentimental. A sentimental philosophy 
upon analysis will generally disclose three distinctive 
elements : a Platonic element, an Aristotehan element, and 
an Epicurean element. 

Idealism, Teleology and Hedonism are all component 
parts of the philosophy of sentiment — not any one of 
these, but a synthesis of all. There is the Platonic love of 
vision, tinged with the atmosphere of mysticism — there is 
the Aristotelian belief that there is a purpose, an end, an 
aim in life, and not only the pictures sentiment paints of 
Utopias testify to this (which would be equally attribut- 
able to Platonism), but also the sentimental adhesion to 
a behef in happiness, in full human life, in "eudaemonism" 
— " and they lived happily ever after " transferred from 
the fairy tale to life. And ultimately there is the Epi- 
curean delicacy of appreciation. In other words, there is 
a union of idealistic aspiration and Epicurean discrimina- 

Not any one of these alone could have developed the 
philosophy of sentiment. Platonism becomes too 
transcendental for a sentimental philosophy as repre- 
sented in modern life — for time and again Plato admits 
that his republic is a vision only, a Kingdom of Heaven, 
whereas the Utopia of a sentimental philosophy is a King- 
dom on Earth— an earthly paradise, a realisable humanist 
ideal. The Aristotelian element has contributed to 


sentimental philosophy essential constituents, but it either 
converges towards another path or stops short. Aristotle's 
philosophy of art subordinates emotion to the role of a 
function in a manner to which the spirit of sentiment is 
quite unakin. If one ponders for a moment over Cole- 
ridge's saying that " Every man is born a Platonist or an 
Aristotelian," then there can be no doubt that a whole- 
hearted believer in sentiment is not likely to be a thorough- 
going Aristotelian, For the Aristotelian temperament is 
an admirable brake upon the run-away Platonic chariot — 
but somehow brakes are things over which no enthusiasm 
can be spent. Aristotle stops short just at the time when 
sentiment's wheels are beginning to gain momentum. 
But his positive contributions to the philosophy of senti- 
ment are the emphatic assertion of eudaemonistic tele- 
ology, a purposeful happiness, and in the application of 
TO fjLsaov, the golden mean as the criterion of real senti- 
ment, distinguishing sentiment as the golden mean be- 
tween mere sentimentality on the one hand and immovable 
hardness on the other. Not that Aristotle establishes this 
distinction — but the philosophical instrument by which this 
equilibrium can be established. 

Again, Epicureanism, as represented by Lucretius and 
other atomistic and materialist philosophers, is sundered 
from the sentimental standpoint by its opposition to a 
purposeful outlook upon the world. It is essentially 
individualist, and its pursuit of pleasure seems more a 
consolation than a delight — a quietism secured by a selec- 
tive process of exhaustion. Where, however, it has 
fertilised the sentimental philosophy is in its cultivation 
of the appreciative capacity — the education of the aesthetic 
taste — the tuning of the human soul to the highest pitch of 
sensitive judgment. So that with the Platonic vision and 
symbolism, the Aristotelian golden mean and purposeful 


outlook, and the Epicurean refinement of feeling, a 
philosophy of sentiment can find its developments trace- 
able from the elements of historic systems of thought and 

We have considered philosophical aspects of sentiment 
from an historical standpoint. Let us now have regard 
to their ethical value. The classic distinction of the 
Hellenic and the Hebraic idea of the good may find in 
sentiment a reconciliation. For while the good to the 
Hebrew is "right," while the good to the Greek is- 
"beautiful," we, who are heirs to both philosophies, can 
see that there is a conscious pleasure at the victory of 
right, a delight at the doing of a good deed — the pleasure 
in duty which comes from a sense of due subordination to 
a higher force. Contrary to popular belief (which so often 
is popular error), the Jews had this sense of the sentiment 
towards the good, which is preserved in the Talmudical 
phrase, " The joy in the observance of the Command- 
ment." It was this joy which sustained the long line of 
Jewish and Christian martyrs, this joy which has fired the 
patriotism of countless heroes and heroines throughout 
tTie ages — this sentiment which hearkens because it loves, 
and loves because it hearkens. A modern Jewish 
thinker. Sir Charles Walston, has set forth a system 
of philosophy which he terms Harmonism — a system, 
in effect, reconciling the historic contrast in assert- 
ing a kind of universal eurhythmies, which makes 
all the world step to a regular metre and get into tune by 
attraction to the general harmony, as illustrated, for 
instance, by a haphazard crowd bursting into popular song. 
There is a centre of harmonic gravity to which all the 
voices tend, impelled by a sense of Harmonism. The 
illustrations are my own, but if I understand Sir Charles 
Walston aright, it is neither the Hellenic "beautiful**" 


alone nor the Hebraic " right " as popularly understood, 
but a subjective yearning towards an absolute concord — 
analysable mathematically in terms of the just measure 
of Hebraic " right," analysable aesthetically in terms of the 
Hellenic " beautiful." 

Let us see the other side of the representation. The 
Platonic indignation at injustice is forecasted by the 
prophetic wrath in the Hebrew writings. There is joy m 
the right — there is sorrow, anger, with the wrong. To 
cultivate a sentiment for the right, a delight in it, is to 
cultivate a sentiment against the wrong. In effect the 
sentiment for the right has as its correlative the sentiment 
against the wrong — the ear that senses discord demands 
resolution into harmony. A sentiment effects a willing 
surrender to an external influence — we grow to like rule, 
rather than reb^l against it. No one who realises the 
meaning of sentiment can remain indifferent to the call 
of patriotism — one can enjoy one's own, and respect one's 
neighbour's — even one's opponent's. Such chivalry as 
warfare knows has its roots in this — such phrases as " my 
friend and opponent." The only cosmopolitanism worth 
having is a capacity to appreciate one's neighbour's loyal- 
ties — to respect another's loyalty as one's own — and one 
must have a loyalty to be able to respect another's. 

A sentiment presupposes a fondness — and we grow to 
recognise that we all have our own points of view. It is 
a common contention against barristers that they ran 
argue both ways — but the contention is in fact a high 
compliment, for most of the acrimonious controversies of 
the day are due to a certain incapacity to realise that 
something can be said for the other side. 

I have referred before to the power of sentiment in 
making smoother the relations of capital and labour. 
Once let employers think of labour in terms of human 



sentiment, once let labour realise the common humanity 
which they share with their employers, and at once a 
higher plane of relationship is attained. I am here neither 
to commend nor to justify the economic adventure of co- 
partnership—but I believe if something of the spirit 
rather than the letter of co-partnership entered into 
industry, a better era would begin. Happiness in labour, 
happiness in citizenship, happiness in fellowship depend 
largely upon a sense of sentiment. This sense of senti- 
ment can be explained by reason but must not entirely 
depend upon it. It is important to know why a common 
chord sounds harmonious — but all the reason in the world 
will not make you feel its harmony unless you feel it 
spontaneously or are encouraged to discover the sensation. 
And thus with the right, the good, and the beautiful — 
you may know the reasons why these are what they are,, 
but you must feel them or be encouraged to enjoy the sensa- 
tion. This is the cultivation of sentiment at its best. 

Reason must not be allowed to dethrone imagination — 
for reason is not always right, else why do theories become 
superseded ? Let us remember that Joseph the Dreamer 
was the most practical of men. To dream dreams, to be 
ever dreaming, may give closer glimpses of the ultimate 
realities. The Germans at the summit of their material 
power called the dreamers—" luftmenschen " — airmen ; 
but when the Germans were metaphorical " luftmenschen," 
living in the heights of idealism, they enriched humanity 
and impressed the world, but when they became actual 
" luftmenschen," airmen, they impoverished humanity and 
depressed the world.*' 

" To develop soul is progress," observes Dr. Marrett^ 
the social anthropologist (Progress and History, p. 41). 

• An illuminating comment upon the great World Crisis, suggested by 
the late Rabbi S. J. Rabinowitz, the learned Liverpool Rabbi. 


" The idea that aesthetic experience gives a profounder 
clue than logical thought to the inner meaning of things 
was as old as Plato," says Professor C. H. Herford. 
" Beauty," said Ravaisson, " and especially beauty in the 
most divine and perfect form, contains the secret of the 

To develop the capacity for sentiment is to sharpen 
the ear, to make clearer the sight, to refine the taste, to 
make more sensitive the touch, to make more subtle the 
scent, to make more ready the heart to receive the omni- 
present appeal of beauty. 

Herbert Watson, in the book I have previously quoted^ 
has an essay entitled, " Do You Like Music ? " His own 
answer is — 

Could we always at the moment of our need liave in our ear 
the music of our choice, it seems we should never want an 
inspiration for living. In tlie morning lioiir it would lift us in an 
ecstasy of dreaming to lie in its sunlit heaven, or set us all 
conquering to ride nobly the steed of our desires: in the darker.t 
night no message could come winged more caressingly. 

Watson speaks of music of your choice, and I would 
add that choice can be yours if you look to music as 
Wordsworth did to nature, full of its static inspiration, or 
as Rupert Brooke to life, full of its dynamic strength. 
There are those who hold that colours have sounds and 
sounds colours. There are souls set in flowers and whose 
very language is music. Can they be said just to like 
flowers and like music ? To them music and flowers — sound 
and sight and scent and savour, seizing the soul of all, are 
as the air they breathe — the condition and the sphere of 
their whole life. That sentiment satuiifies feeling, the 
mystics, by their sanctification of all the normal incidents 
of life, abundantly testify. But sentiment also humanises 
feeling — lifts it above mere activity or passivity. Senti- 


ment makes " heart and soul and sense in concert move " 
when " the blood's lava and the pulse ablaze," to quote the 
flaming lines of Byron. 

You may write me, perhaps, an Epicurean — but 
remember that it is no unworthy title, unless one is un- 
worthy of the Epicurean ideal at its highest. The Hellen- 
istic-Hebrew " Apikouros " was a term which earned with 
i{ the character of the travesty of Epicurean doctrine — a 
travesty which so many who baselessly acclaimed the 
doctrine, by their reading of it, so made it. 

It was not Epicureanism that my forefathers denounced, 
it was the travesty of Epicureanism. The " moral mental 
arithmetic " which my Master in Philosophy, our Honorary 
Member, Professor John MacCunn, described as the 
genuine Epicurean way of thought was not so far asunder 
from the Jewish teaching of the " joy of life well-lived " — 
the actual happiness which was the product of accordance 
with the precepts. 

You may perhaps write me as Leigh Hunt described 
Abou ben Adhem, as one that loves his fellow-men, and if 
you do, then I would reply that sentiment keeps the lamp 
of love alight. 

I shall persist in enjoying the silent eloquence of a 
library, the melody of an open page, and the harmonies of 
choruses of books in close rank around me. The sound 
of the thrush on a May morning in Lincoln's Inn (Watson's 
words) will whisper to me the secret of equity — the pass- 
word which all the learning cannot of itself pronounce. 

I cherish my Alma Mater — the University of Liver- 
pool — and I am happy to know that Oxford regards it as 
" the home of intellectual, literary and scientific prescience 
and culture." But I am quite sure that is not the answer 
I would give to you if you asked me why I cherish it. If 
you asked me why, I could pile up a whole load of adjec- 


tives and would probably cap it all by saying " it is a 
wonderful place." I am fondly attached to the Middle 
Temple — and I am glad to be assured that Shakespeare 
played in its Hall, and that Queen Elizabeth danced there. 
I am glad to know from history and experience that 
Middle Templars have a warm heart for music, for 
poetry, for literature as a whole, for the drama, for flowers, 
for beautiful gardens and for everything that makes life 
pleasant and delightful. I am proud to belong to this Inn 
of Court which keeps the lamp of learning alight in one 
hand and the lamp of humanism alight in the other. All 
this I feel — but I think if you were to ask me why I am 
so fondly attached, I could just tell you no more than that 
" it is a wonderful place." I love music most passionately 
and intensely. If you ask me why, I could tell you that 
" music symbolises my fondest dreams " — that* music is 
beautiful, is soothing, is inspiring, is reality — but ulti- 
mately my reply would come to my saying that music is 
just wonderful. This word, although the last resort of 
sentiment, vainly trying to justify itself by reason, is 
instinct with meaning. 

Theodore Watts Dunton, in one of his prefaces to 
Ayhvyn, explains why he gave to it the sub-title " The 
Renascence of Wonder." It was, he says, the heart 
thought of his book. 

It is used to express that great revived moveinent of the soul of 
man which is generally said to have begun with the poetry of 
Wortlsworth, Scott, Coleridge, and others, and after many 
varieties of expression reached its culmination in the poems and 
pictures of Rossetti. . . . The phrase . . . indicates there 
are two great impulses . . . the impulse to take unchallenged 
and for granted all the phenomena of the outer world as they are. 
and the impulse to confront these phenomena with eyes of enquiry 
and wonder. 

Rut I would add, wonder still persists after enquiry — 


for mind can seek the absolute, but heart ever yearns for 
reahty. Have we seen sights or beheld visions? Have we 
hstened to sounds or heard music? Have we appeased 
hunger and slaked thirst or tasted nectar and ambrosia? 
Have we inhaled a scent or breathed the perfume of 
fragrance? Have we just acted or suffered or have we 
felt? Sentiment has determined and sentiment is on the 
left side closest to the heart — and the heart is the main- 
spring of life. But sentiment is also on the right side, and 
the long record of humanity has given it strength. Senti- 
ment sounds the Reveille and the Last Post — both the 
Song of Hope and the Song of Faith. 

Plato has a passage in the Republic relating to Justice 
which we can equally apply to the philosophy of sentiment : 

We have had our eyes fixed on the far horizon, expecting 
justice to dawn in the distant sliies, and all the while she has lain 
tumbling about at our feet, (432. D.) 

This is a Platonic parallel to a passage in the last book 
of the Hebrew Lawgiver : 

It is not in heaven that thou shouldst say, ' Who shall go up 
for us to heaven and bring it unto us, and make us to hear, that 
we may do it ?' Neither is it beyond the sea that thou shouldst 
say : ' Who shall go over tiie sea for us, and bring it unto us, and 
make us to hear, that we may do it ? ' But the word is very nigh 
unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart that thou mayest 
doit. (Deut. XXX, 11-14.) 



Bv R. T. BODEY, M.A. 

The essay, a form of literature very acceptable to English 
minds, first took shape in the writings of Montaigne (1533- 
1593}, -who, after some years of Court and public life, 
settled down in his Chateau in Gascony to devote himself 
to study among his books. Although he afterwards 
travelled a little, and also discharged the office of Mayor 
of Bordeaux, as his father had before him, his later life 
belongs really almost entirely to his library. France was 
at that time torn by dissensions, for it was the time of the 
three Valois novels of Dumas — the France of Catherine 
and her sons Charles IX, and Henry III. ; the France of 
the Bartholomew massacre, and of the politico-religious 
civil war between the Catholic party under the Guises and 
the Protestants under Henry of Navarre. Of all this 
Montaigne writes but little. A religious war is ever the 
most intemperate form of civil war, and an inoffensive 
man who only wanted to live peacefully with his neighbours 
of either party had much ado to keep the peace with both ; 
therefore, garrulous as he was by nature, he bridled tongue 
and pen, lest he should commit himself by any words that 
might stamp him as a partisan of either side, and so expose 
him to the hostility of the other. But there was more in 
it than this. The chief characteristic of Montaigne's 
mind was its ability to see and appreciate both sides of a 
question. He rarely draws his remarks to any positive 
and constructive end ; he criticises, balances, dubitates, 
and finds most problems insoluble ; the very strength and 



fertility of his mind producing such an array of considera- 
tions and illustrative instances upon each side of the 
argument that it became almost impossible to decide 
between them. This type of mind differs from, and indeed 
is totally opposed to, that of the ordinary confused and 
inconclusive man, who adduces few arguments, and com- 
mands few facts of his own ; who cannot weigh what he 
derives from books or records, or in conversation ; and 
whose weakness is rooted in the insufficiency of his own 
intellect. Montaigne puts forward considerations that are 
sound, and his facts and quotations are germane to the 
point at issue ; what seems to be his failure in conclusive- 
ness springs from excess, not from defect, of matter, 
argument, insight. 

Yet it would be an error in criticism to charge 
Montaigne with such a failure without very carefully 
limiting the precise scope of the indictment ; for his real 
purpose, as he tells his reader over and over again, is not 
so much to arrive at positive conclusions, as to reveal 
honestly to him the working of one particular mind ; that 
is, of Montaigne's own. And so he takes his reader into 
the most candid and intimate confidences about himself; 
his tastes, his habits of life, his temperament, his mental 
processes, and what not. He says it is a pain to him to 
dissemble. He does not like roughness or austerity of 
behaviour, but " a lightsome and civill discretion " ; he 
dislikes all regular duties and observances, though he would 
have some slight touch of ceremony in intercourse with 
others. He thinks best while riding on horseback ; he is 
thrown off his track of thought if interrupted in discourse. 
"All arguments are alike fertile " to him, because what he 
is really interested in is, not the proposition which the 
argument seeks to estabhsh, but the motions of the mind 
withm itself, the " continuall or incessant alteration of my 


thoughts, what subject so ever they happen upon." He 
finds all opposites within himself, and would desire to be 
delineated in his book " in mine owne genuine, simple, 
and ordinarie fashion, without contention, art, or study ; 
for it is my selfe I pourtray." And therefore he always 
seeks a listener or a reader to whom he can pour himself 
out; and such " neede but hold up their hand, or whistle 
in their fiste, and I will store them with Essayes, of pith 
and substance, with might and maine." 

Of his books, Plutarch and Seneca are the prime 
favourites. He likes an author who goes straight at his 
subject, without groping for fine phrases and subtleties 
of expression, and has many hard words for the pedants 
who mannered and ossified the language of their day. He 
himself had been brought up by his father according to 
certain theories of education; it is interesting therefore to 
note the supreme contempt which he displays for all who 
are merely learned. "Is there any thing so assured, so 
resolute, so disdainfull, so contemplative, so serious and 
so grave, as the Asse ? " " The refining of wits in a 
commonwealth doth seldome make them the wiser." " I 
had rather forge than furnish my minde." 

In general, the Essays are discursive in style, and their 
titles often afford but little clue to their contents; thus 
there is always the chance of finding under any title 
passages of sound judgment, of rich and generous feeling, 
or of quaint information, expressed in picturesque sen- 
tences that stick in the mind; as, for instance, a prince 
or governor should " sow with the hand, not the sack, for 
the latter habit corrupts his people." The Essay on 
Conferring (that is, on Conversation) is one of the best ; that 
called .In Apologie of Raymond Sehond is not only the 
longest, but is also one of the deepest. The latter contains 
a passage on life as a dream, which is particularly interest- 


ing by reason of its literary affiliations with the splendid 
lines of The Tempest, and with a noble speech in Calderon's 
La Vida es Sueno. 

Montaigne's insight and independence of mind, his 
gaiety of temper, his gift of ready and often amusing 
illustration, and his acquaintance with all the subtle bye- 
ways of the mind, will always secure readers, especially 
among those who have gained experience of the world ; 
these he can still teach with that rarest and best kind of 
instruction which comes only through contact with a mind 
more full, more active, more powerful, and more wise 
than one's own. 



A HUNDRED years ago,''' when the septuagenarian, William 
Roscoe, notwithstanding the ruin of his fortunes, was 
enjoying the height of his fame, he received one day a 
call from a young stranger, bringing a letter of introduc- 
tion from Ugo Foscolo, the Italian poet. Like the poet, 
the newcomer was an Italian and a political refugee. For 
himself, Foscolo found shelter in London, though he hated 
the English metropolis with a mortal hatred. To his 
young friend his counsel was to try Liverpool and Liver- 
pool's great man, the author of the much-belauded 
biographies of Lorenzo di Medici and Leo X. Such is 
the way in which Antonio Panizzi makes his first appear- 
ance in this town of ours — a tall, dark, well-built man of 
twenty-six, somewhat lean about the girth and awkwardly 
ignorant of English. An unsympathetic observer might 
notice the large flat ears sooner than the well-set features, 
and the strong lines of the mouth in keeping with the full 

Roscoe receives him with a touch of almost paternal 
kindness, and, as time goes by, will miss no opportunity 
of doing him a good turn. Meanwhile, Panizzi disapp)ears 

* The date is shewn to be about Auf^ust, 1S23. in a letter, dated 23th 
February, 1826, in which Panizzi refers to his coming to Liverpool 
" about thirty mon.hs before " on Foscolo's introduction, and goes on to 
state that he had been so well received that if it were possible lor him to 
iorget his own country he could only do so at Liverpool. 


into an obscure lodging, the address of which, with the 
instinct of an outlaw, he suppresses.* 

Where had he come from ? 

Antonio Genesio Maria Panizzi was born i6th 
September, 1797, of respectable middle-class people, his 
father being a druggist, at Brescello, a small town in the 
Grand Duchy of Modena. It was a date when the star 
of Napoleon shone supreme. With his advent in Italy, 
the grand ducal tyrannies disappeared: there was an up- 
springing of a new national spirit even under the frame- 
work of a foreign dominion. Conversely, with the fall of 
Napoleon the little dukes came back, to institute a regime 
of suppression of patriotic sentiment. Such was the back- 
ground of political events during Panizzi's boyhood and 
youth. Opinions, allowed no open vent, ran underground 
into the ramifications of secret societies. Something of 
their work was seen when, in 1821, outbreaks occurred at 
various points in Spain, Naples and Piedmont. Already, 
while still a student at the University of Parma, Panizzi 
had been enrolled among the Carbonari, perhaps the most 
formidable political association of the time. He had 
hardly taken his law degree! when in his turn he was 
initiating others into the ranks. We need not, therefore, 
assume that he was a disorderly or dangerous person, or, 
on the other hand, that he had made any deep researches 
in constitutional theory. He did no other than what might 
be expected of a high-spirited young man of those days 
who found himself a subject of the Este duke. This 
patriarchal head of a small province, which set up to be a 
sovereign state, was sprung from a line of Marquises, 

* Mr. Fagan, his biographer, fails to trace his quarters in 1823. In 
January, 1824, his address appears to be at 6 King Street, Soho, Liver- 
pool. Later he writes from 93 Mount Pleasant. 

tin August, 1818, he obtained the Baccalaureat, with the title of 
"Dottor " Panizzi. 


formerly established at Ferrara, where their court had 
received a poetical but disproportionate glory from • the 
muses of Ariosto and Tasso. The reigning Duke was 
known as Francis IV. of Modena. 

Young Panizzi enjoyed his favour well enough to 
receive an inspectorship of schools, and one or two other 
small appointments besides. Within the confined horizon 
of his circumstances his prospects were bright, when, one 
fine day, his politics became suspect. The Duke's own 
carriage was seen in the streets of Brescello, and the rumour 
went that it would carry back a doubtful subject or two 
for question at the palace. True or false, this was enough 
to alarm the conscious Carbonaro. He bolted across the 
frontier, which, in that tiny state, was not far away. There 
are different versions cf what happened next. According 
to one he returned to Brescello and was there arrested, 
only to make good his escape. After various small 
adventures he found his way to Switzerland, to France, to 
the Netherlands, and so to England. 

He was lucky to get clear. A local priest, Giuseppi 
Androli, a Carbonaro like himself, was executed, in fact, 
and Panizzi was hanged in effigy. The Duke, however, 
while thus dealing out his thunderbolts, did so not regard- 
less of expense. A debit note for the cost of the operation 
was sent to Panizzi; it came to 225 francs 25 centimes. 
To this preposterous bill of costs he replied, with the 
heavy humour that belonged to him, in a letter headed, 
" Realm of Death, Elysian Fields," and signed, " The 
Soul of A. Panizzi." It was a laboured jest. A more 
telling revenge was to print a matter-of-fact account of 
every stage of the absurd and cruel persecution.* 

It was in May, 1823, that he reached London, with 

•This account, entitled / Prceessi di Rubiera, later in life he tried to 


empty pockets, but little if at all worse off than a number 
of other political refugees, most of them intellectuals, and 
some of whom had held public positions of much greater 
importance than his. One exile the more may not have 
been over-welcome with this society of idealists. 

We have seen that Foscolo at any rate urged him not to 
linger in London, but to try his luck at Liverpool. To 
Liverpool he came, relying for his bread and butter on the 
vocation of a teacher of Italian — in those days the medium 
for much foreign commercial correspondence. To his 
chagrin he found at Liverpool two other teachers " already 
estabhshed. Perhaps he was at this date not too profoundly 
versed in the literature and history of his own country ; for 
he is recommended by his friend Count Santorre di Santa 
Rosa, in a letter in the printed correspondence, to beg or 
borrow the volumes of Muratori and Tiraboschi, if such a 
place as a library existed at Liverpool ; for, said Santa 
Rosa, to have our national history by heart is the best way 
of showing the difference between one teacher and 
another, and of interesting not merely a larger number, 
but an entirely different class of persons. Muratori and 
Tiraboschi were then, as they are now, on the shelves of 
the Liverpool Athenaeum, where, there is every reason 
to believe, through the good offices of Roscoe, Panizzi was 
given access to them. Tender as is the solicitude that 
Santa Rosa's letters display for Panizzi in the struggle for 
subsistence, they set up a severe standard for the patriot 
in exile. He writes — 

The Italian emigration looks like being permanent . . . and 
■we owe, each one of us, to the hapless nation, of which we are the 
part to be sacrificed — we owe it our labour and our every 
thought here in exile, no less than if we stood in the Fonim at 

• One of these was doubtless Signer Tonna, teacher of Italian at the 
K-yal Institution School. 


Rome, or in the Council Cliambers of Turin or Modena. I-Iere, in 
Great l:iritain, we can do iionour to the Italian name liy the 
simplicity of our lives, by the usefulness of our toil, by dignity of 
speech and bearing, by enduring — yes, and overcoming — poverty 
by perniftent work. This is what I preach to myself, and here I 
am preaching it to you. 

One doubts if any words could have been chosen better 
to describe the aims and conduct of the subject of this 

A few of the names of Panizzi's Liverpool friends and 
pupils are preserved. We hear of the bankers, Mr. 
Zwilchenbart and Mr. Ymes (sic), of Mr. John Ewart and 
Mr. Francis Haywood,* of the learned Rev. Wm. Shepherd 
of Gateacre, of a Miss Martin and Miss Ellen Turner.! 
There is a hint that besides teaching Italian, Panizzi had 
some other employment, the nature of which is not stated. 
Be that as it may, he was soon (August, 1823) invited to 
lecture on Italian Literature at the Royal Institution, 
Liverpool. This had been founded a few years before on 
an elaborate plan, altogether beyond the modest funds 
available, but suggestive of that University College which 
was to come into being two generations later. Even as it 
was, the attempt was ambitious enough. Mr. Thomas 
Campbell lectured on English Literature, as he was well 
qualified to do. No reminiscence, however, of his survey 
of his brother bards has come down to us. Not so with 
Panizzi. The English in which he opened his first lecture 
was cumbrous and apologetic ; his animation only leapt out 
in quotations from his native poets. Especially was it 
noted with what fire he rendered those transporting lines of 

* The accomplished cotton-broker, translator of Kant's Critik. 
tTbe heroine in 1826 of the notorious abduction by Edward Gibbon 
Wakefield ; later on distinguished as an empire builder in Australas-a. 



Tasso's, which describe the passionate emotion of the 
Crusaders when they first descried Jerusalem.* 

Panizzi continued to lecture at this institution for four 
years at least on different periods in Itahan poetry. The 
lectures were of more than passing importance, for they led 
to the publication in 9 volumes (octavo) of a critical 
edition of the romantic poems of Bojardo and Ariosto. 
The introduction was in itself a monument of scholarship 
and acute observation, however some of its conclusions may 
be amended by the later researches of Rajna. The first 
volume was published in 1830, not too late to be dedicated 
by its grateful author to William Roscoe, while yet alive. 

The text was built up on the collation of rare editions, 
supplied by the friendly aid of magnificos such as Thomas 
Grenville and Lord Spencer. The chief poets dealt with 
were to their editor very near and dear. Ariosto had been 
the peculiar glory of the reigning house of Ferrara, which 
afterwards transferred its seat to Modena. With Bojardo 
the link was yet closer ; for was he not Count of Scandiano, 
hard by Reggio, familiar to Panizzi from his school days 
onwards ? f 

Bojardo's poem, the Orlando Innaenorato, was not 
published for years after his death. No posthumous child 
ever suffered more complex misadventures. The first 
edition entirely disappeared; the second became a rarity. 
A generation later yet a worse fate overtook the poem. It 
was entirely recast by Berni, an ecclesiastic, too lazy for 
the effort of invention, but too fond of mischief to 

• " Ecco apparir Gerusalem si vede 
Ecco additar Gerusalem si scorge ; 
Kcco da mille voci unitamente, 
Gerusalemme salutar si sente." 

Cf., Pagan's Life of Panizzi, p. 60. 
\" He was bcrn in my province. I spent many of my younger days 
at Scandiano." — Life, p. 97. 


leave another man's alone. This rinfacimento or fake 
dispossessed the original of its public for 300 years. The 
real Bojardo was practically forgotten till Panizzi brought 
him to his own again. 

And to Ariosto his services were hardly less than to 
Bojardo. This must be explained by a comparison. Great 
as are the differences between the reckless satire of Ariosto 
and the dreamy serenity of our own Spenser, their master- 
pieces have something in common. Alike in the Orlando 
Furioso and the Faerie Queen, we move in a land of 
enchantment , with snow-white ladies and fearless knights. 
Time and space go for nothing : progress to any decisive 
event eludes us. For in almost every canto the reader 
discovers a new champion with, as is only proper, a new 
heroine. In Spenser's case the lengthening tangle is never 
cleared, as half his manuscript was lost in the waters of 
the Irish Channel. On the other hand, Ariosto's poem is 
complete ; nevertheless, for the majority of its readers it 
came to an end unexplained. Panizzi supplied the key, 
somewhat as follows — 

The hero of Orlando Furioso is not Orlando but 
Ruggiero, and Ruggiero's union with Bradamante is the 
climax of the whole contrivance. From these two per- 
sonages the House of Este claimed descent, that Hcjuse 
of Este from whom was sprung no less a sovereign than 
Victoria of England. 

Here was a fanciful thread running from the home that 
the exile had lost to the home he was finding. For Panizzi 
was " making good," as the phrase is, in his new surround- 
ings. Along with his scholarship and his industry he pos- 
sessed a still more potent aid to success in the gift of making 
friends. Among those that he had won at Liverpool was 
Henry Brougham. Brougham was one of the most ardent 
promoters of that only half-happy foundation, the 



University of London. We can understand, therefore, 
how both Mr. Thomas Campbell and Signor Panizzi, our 
distinguished lecturers at the Liverpool Royal Institution, 
became professors at the brand new metropolitan establish- 
ment. Somebody — was it not Mr. Grote, the historian ? — 
complained that Thomas Campbell was the most unreason- 
ably cheerful man of his acquaintance, for not even the 
London University could lower his spirits. No such charge 
is made against Panizzi. His appointment took place in 
May, 1828. The College opened in the following October. 
However dignified his new position, he was soon to find 
that its emoluments were no whit superior to his earnings 
at Liverpool. He remained Professor till 1837. Ever 
industrious ; when not lecturing he was writing : some times 
mere hackwork, such as an elementary Italian grammar or 
a magazine article, on any subject from the post office to the 
Jesuits. It is not worth while here to attempt a catalogue 
of these ephemeral productions, or to relate how more than 
one literary quarrel arose out of them. Our author was 
never to become a great original writer ; none the less, his 
services to scholarship were undeniable. At this point it is 
convenient to skip more than 20 years to refer to the great 
edition of Dante, which he prepared for the Press at the 
charges of that princely enthusiast, Lord Vernon. Dante, 
as everybody knows, died in 1321, more than a century 
before the invention of printing. Therefore, of necessity, 
the Divine Commedia was published in manuscript. From 
the first there was a tendency for the manuscripts to vary, 
according to the locahty, the learning or the fancy of the 
scribe. At last, in 1472, the day came when the great poem 
was put into print. Strange to say, this happened simul- 
taneously, or all but simultaneously, at four different 
places: Foligno, Jesi, Mantua and Naples. Each of the 
four versions may claim to be the editio princeps : each has 


peculiarities of its own. Specimens of all four editions were 
among the treasures of the British Museum, and in Panizzi's 
time, nowhere else. What he did, at Lord Vernon's 
instance, was to print on each folio of a sumptuous volume 
of 750 pages, side by side in parallel columns, so many of 
the same lines of each of the four versions. Every varia- 
tion of word or letter or spacing is given with meticulous 
care. It may all be " caviare to the general," but to the 
serious Dante student it is a most helpful apparatus as well 
as an aesthetic delight. 

But this is anticipating. We have still to do with 
Panizzi as the Gower Street professor. He found himself 
none too busy to return to Liverpool to give another course 
of lectures at the Royal Institution, in 1829. 

It is a good thing even in the present confused days to 
be a Lord Chancellor. Besides other advantages, you 
become ex-officio a principal trustee of the British Museum. 
In 1 830, the year that the first volume of Panizzi's Bojardo 
and Ariosto made its appearance, his friend, Henry 
Brougham, became Lord Chancellor of England. Within 
six months Panizzi was admitted, on his nomination, to a 
post on the staff of the Museum. No more than an extra 
assistant librarian to begin with, he must have known 
instinctively that his true life work had come into his hands. 
Before long (in March, 1832) he took out letters of 
naturalisation. His initial salary was ;^200, and ">^75 for 
extra attendance to Mr. Walter." Every step of his promo- 
tion excited fresh protests on the score of his foreign origin. 
Of Panizzi's achievements as a librarian only a mere outline 
can be here attempted ; but even this outline would be 
almost unmeaning without a few words explanatory of the 
beginning of the British Museum, in which his genius found 
scope. The Museum first came into existence through the 
public spirit of Sir Hans Sloane, of Chelsea — physician, 


scientist and virtuoso. In 1753 he left his remarkable col- 
lection of books, manuscripts, coins and objects of art to the 
King or Parliament on certain terms, one of which was the 
payment of ;;^20,ooo. About the same date two or three 
other collections were taken over by the Government, each 
standing separate in its own building. The authorities 
decided on bringing all together into suitable quarters for 
access and exhibition. For this purpose the required funds 
were raised by the undignified device of a State lottery, 
realising ;;^ 100, 000. Montague House, Bloomsbury, was 
bought, for conversion into the treasure store of literature 
and art, known as the British Museuin. Soon its dominating 
importance was placed beyond question by the gift from 
George II. of the library of manuscripts and books collected 
by the sovereigns of England from Henry VII. downwards 
Along with this gift, the right to a copy of every publica-, 
tion entered at Stationer's Hall, passed to the Museum. 
Only one further acquisition can here be mentioned, the 
library of his Majesty George III. There are two inscrip- 
tions asserting that this was presented by his royal succes- 
sor, George IV., which ought to be more than enough to 
■dispose of the common belief that the library was on the 
point of being shipped off to the Russian Czar, when means 
were taken by the Ministers of the British Crown to keep 
it nearer home. Not to continue the enumeration, we have 
here an accumulation of things of price beyond the dreams 
of avarice. This great palace of literature and art is 
vested in a body of 48 trustees, a most notable set of 
persons. Ten of them represent the famihes of the chief 
founders. The three principal trustees, however, are the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, and the 
Speaker. Twenty more are the holders of certain offices 
of State, and these 23 co-opt further 15 trustees. The 
numbers are thus carefully balanced, so as not to give the 


official members an obvious majority. In reality they 
control. Under this august body of governors, the work 
of administration is carried out by a highly qualified staff 
of scholars and experts. We may imagine the pride with 
which Panizzi found himself one of that chosen band. Not 
that he accepted his duties as mere routine. It was his way 
to use his own judgment, and, if need be, to defend it. 
Soon he gave a proof of his mettle in a dispute with the 
Royal Society, the catalogue of whose library he was asked 
to revise for printing.* He was ready enough, but 
instead of performing the task as an ordinary man would, 
in a mechanical way, he examined the catalogue itself, and 
pronounced it too faulty for revision. Imagine the storm 
that arose among the pundits of science. Not a whit 
perturbed, Panizzi went on to prove his statements. At 
the Museum be pursued the task of cataloguing with 
extreme industry and precision. He had decided views as 
to the proper system to adopt, and nobody had more 
destructive criticism for any other. This is how he 
expressed himself in March, 1847 — 

The catalogue might be completed by the end of 1854 of all the 
books which the museum will contain up to that period. It would 
take to i860 to prepare such a catalogue in such a state of revision 
as might be fit for the press. It would occupy 70 volumes. It 
would require one year to correct the press of two volumes. It 
would therefore reqnire 35 years to pass the catalogue through the 
press; and, when completed in 1895, it would represent the state 
of the library in 1854. 

In his tours abroad, just as Panizzi's first visit in every 
town was to a library, so in every library the first object 
of his scrutiny was its catalogue. A notable instance was 
seen at Bologna, where he was so much struck by the 

• Vid$ his "Letter to H R.H. the Duke of Sussex, President of the 
Royal Society, London, 1837." 


indefatigable execution of the manuscript catalogue that 
he asked to be presented to the compiler, whereupon a 
figure lank, wizen-faced, threadbare, demure, made its 
appearance. Our great librarian, obeying an irresistible 
impulse, kissed his brother cataloguer on both cheeks.* 

In 1837 Panizzi was promoted Keeper of Printed Books, 
over the heads of his seniors in the service, in particular 
of the Rev. Hy. Francis Gary, who is still remembered for 
his translation of Dante. Mr. Gary, then 65 years of age, 
put forward his own claim to the post. " My age," said he, 
" it is plain, might ask for me that alleviation of labour 
which is gained by promotion to a superior place." With 
Panizzi, as responsibility increased and higher functions 
came into play, industry continued unslackened. One of his 
first tasks as Keeper was to remove the printed books from 
Montague House to a new building on the north side of the 
Quadrangle. About 160,000 volumes had to be dealt with. 
During such an operation the exclusion of the public might 
reasonably have been demanded : the Trustees doubted its 
feasibility on any other terms. Panizzi, however, deter- 
mined not to deny readers their privileges for a single day. 
Books were transferred from old shelves to new so 
systematically that at no one moment were more than five 
per cent, unavailable on demand. 

With all his fondness for minute detail, Panizzi did not 
lose himself in trifles, but kept certain broad principles 
constantly in view, as follows : — 

(i.) The Museum is not a show, but an institution for 
the diffusion of culture ; 

(ii.) It is a department of the Givil Service, and should 
be conducted in the spirit of other public departments ; 

(iii.) It should be managed with the utmost possible 

* This story is vouched for by Mr. Cartwright in the Quarterly 
Revitw, vol cli. 


Besides these rules, he had another — perhaps un- 
consciously — that books were the most precious of all 
possessions, or, as Macauley put it, he would give three 
mammoths for one Aldus. Of the exhibits of natural 
science, its stuffed animals and bottled specimens, he was 
indeed a litde impatient. Before he retired from the 
Museum's control, a home for this great department of 
human knowledge had been provided elsewhere than at 
Bloomsbury. And if the division between natural science 
and books is defensible only on grounds of convenience, 
scholarship and aesthetics are still more closely related; 
yet here, too, Panizzi was for a separation, not that he 
loved aesthetics less, but that he loved scholarship more. 
Hence, his approval of South Kensington as a gathering 
place, more or less self-sufficient, for art productions. All 
these things removed, left more room at the British 
Museum for books, manuscripts, coins, ancient sculptures 
and other forms of historical document. Panizzi's views, 
however decided, did not come easily before the Trustees ; 
for he had no seat at their meetings ; and their resolutions 
only reached him through the medium of the secretary, a 
gentleman who, to the privilege of attending such meetings, 
had few official duties added. Not till two Royal Com- 
missions had brought in reports on the Museum, nor till 
the worthy secretary had suffered a mental collapse, was 
this quaint obstruction cleared away from the official 
machinery. When the separate post of secretary was at 
last abolished, Panizzi became the real ruler of the British 

His palmary service to the student public was in the 
construction of a new reading room, erected to fill an inner 
quadrangle, on a design of his own invention. Every 
detail was his, from the grouping of the book shelves to 
the proportions of the surmounting cupola, which lighted 



the whole space. His first sketch of the new building was 
dated in April, 1852. After five years' perseverance it 
was carried to completion, and formerly opened in May, 
1857. Panizzi had ventured on an estimate of ;^50,ooo; 
the actual cost was ;^ioo,ooo. Nobody called him to 
account for the discrepancy, so admirable were the results, 
both in architectural effect and in the convenience of some 
500 readers. On 6th March, 1856, a year before the 
opening of the new reading room, Panizzi was appointed 
Principal Librarian, thus becoming, under the Trustees, 
the undisputed chief of the British Museum in all its 

Acting on his opinion that it formed a department of the 
Civil Service, he pressed for and obtained a more liberal 
remuneration for his staff of assistants — many of them 
scholars of distinction. At the same time he scouted the 
least attempt at a perfunctory performance of official duty. 
He was rewarded by the response of his staff to his 
exacting ideals by an esprit de corps that had not previously 
existed in that body of men, inclined hitherto to be rather 
too much absorbed each in his own narrow field of study. 
So far, it may be objected, Panizzi's exertions added 
heavily to the Museum's budget which the Trustees had to 
provide for; but his extraordinary personal influence — an 
influence which his biographer has not quite explained — did 
wonders in adding to the Museum's resources. It secured 
a Government grant of ;^i 0,000 a year, and it annexed for 
the Museum at least two large private collections — one 
being Mr. Thomas Grenville's — that, but for Panizzi, 
would have gone elsewhere. Equally important, it 
asserted and enforced the Museum's rights under, the 
Copyright Act. 

It will be remembered that 23 out of the 48 Trustees 
of the British Museum were holders of high public office. 


Of these, the Archbishop of Canterbury exercised the first 
authority. Between his Grace and the Principal Librarian 
no personal intimacy came into their official relations, 
Panizzi being a Catholic all his days. With mere laymen, 
such as Prime Ministers, he was more at ease. Lord 
Melbourne, Lord Aberdeen, Lord Palmerston, Mr. Disraeli 
and Mr. Gladstone were something more than official 
supporters. They consulted him in their own literary 
researches; they were his frequent correspondents and 
faithful friends. It is said that perhaps Panizzi's last visitor 
was Mr. Gladstone, This may well have been ; for many 
a year they had worked together for the same cause — the 
liberation of Italy. While Mr. Gladstone's share in the 
work was done in the face of Europe, it is likely enough 
that he drew on Panizzi, as upon a buried arsenal, for facts 
and suggestions. Within the limits of this paper only the 
briefest reference can be made to the revolutionary move- 
ment of 1848, or to the reaction that ensued. At Naples 
the reaction did not stop short of the imprisonment of the 
Premier himself. Baron Poerio, along with a number of 
other political offenders. Reports got about as to their 
inhuman treatment. Mr. Gladstone, still a Conservative, 
and at the height of his intellectual powers and chivalrous 
sensitivity, discredited the reports. In 1850 he went to 
Naples to enquire at first hand into the facts. The result 
is set out in his two famous letters to the Earl of Aberdeen.* 
The letters evoked replies to which Mr. Gladstone made 
rejoinders in the lines from Shakespeare's Richard III. — 

Relent, and save your souls ! 
Relent! 'tis cowardly and womanish. 
Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish. 

" Not to relent," as history bears witness, was King 

• They were republished in 1878. The whole matter is summarised in 
the first volume of Morley' 5 Lifi of Gladstone. 



Bomba's choice. Poerio, Settimbrini and their 60 fellow- 
prisoners— some doubtless no better than they should be, 
others the very elect — remained for ten years loaded with 
chains in one dungeon or another. Of Poerio, the words 
that dropped from him on his way to a convict island, are 
still treasured by those who value magnanimity of soul — 
" I have been taking this iron tonic for some years, and 
feel all the stronger for it."* 

During these ten years of the imprisonment of the 
Neapohtan reformers, we see Panizzi, the worthy English 
citizen, the zealous bureaucrat, the privileged guest of 
society — we see him the Itahan Carbonaro still. Night 
and day he sought means of escape for the victims of 
tyranny. Poerio himself being hopelessly out of reach, 
Settimbrini, hardly a less noble sufferer, attracted his chief 
efforts. Through the medium of the prisoner's wife, 
letters in invisible ink passed and re-passed. His exact 
quarters were ascertained, as well as the time table of the 
movements of his guard. A small steamer was then 
chartered. Panizzi worked out to a nicety when she was 
to arrive at the given spot, and the signals by which 
Settimbrini should recognise her. In vain ! The ill-starred 
ship sank at her moorings in a squall. Yet not a word of 
vexation is wrung out of Settimbrini ; and Panizzi goes on 
with his determination to help, if not in one way, then in 

Not only as to Naples, but for the reform elements all 
over Italy, Panizzi became an irregular but convenient sort 
of agent-general. Rightly or wrongly, he was supposed to 
have the ear of the British Government, whose adherence 

* " F6 questa cura di ferro da parecchi anni, e mi sento piu forte." 
t At last, in 1859, the King of Naples released his prisoners for 
shipment to the Argentine. Then the destination was changed to New 
York, and finally, in melodramatic fashion, the ship's course was tunied 
to England. 


to such and such a pohcy is frequently demanded by his 
correspondents. It is amusing how his standpoint changes 
with the growth of his influence. He is not merely Anglo- 
phile, he becomes definitely Whig in his insular sympathies, 
and definitely anti-republican in his Italian outlook. The 
sweeping generalisations of Mazzini wax too visionary for 
him. The shrewd opportunism of Cavour was more akin 
to his own intellectual temper. This said, he kept in touch 
with many an ardent fellow-patriot of different views and 
inferior fortune, unfailing in advice in small things as in 
large. The friend of the juorusciti assumed in after years 
an almost fabulous importance. When his centenary was 
celebrated at his native Brescello in 1897, his name was 
linked with Garibaldi's and Cavour's among the makers of 
free Italy. 

Something must be said of Panizzi's incessant activity 
as a letter writer. He wrote a teasing hand and had no 
special happiness of style, even in his own language. He 
made apologies for his French : his English was never 
wholly free from stiffness. Yet his correspondence linked 
him up with a large variety of persons, many of them in 
great positions. One of these was M. Thiers, whom 
Panizzi was able to bring to an understanding with 
Palmerston. Thiers, a fluent penman, does not conceal 
from Panizzi the nature of his feelings toward his rival 
Guizot. In a yet more dramitic letter the future French 
President describes the abdication of Louis Philippi. Later 
on, Panizzi's insight into French affairs is from quite a 
different angle. His acquaintance — it is a curious sort of 
intimacy — with Napoleon III. yielded a large harvest of 
letters. Two volumes (octavo) of them, in Prosper 
Merimee's sparkling French, contain thinly-veiled messages 
from Napoleon to Lord Palmerston or other English 



authorities. They only came to an end with the debacle of 

The published volume of Italian letters represents many 
different types of mind, such as Ugo Foscolo,* the poet in 
exile, raging at his London surroundings ; Mazzini, for- 
getting his role of philosopher, to denounce the post office 
for opening his letters, or the Press for its coldness, or 
Aberdeen and Peel for Jesuitical policy ; Garibaldi, warm, 
brief, abrupt in manner, but for the most part non-com- 
mittal ; Duke Carlo of Lucca and Parma, a Bourbon who 
in a dilettante way sought to pose as a friend of freedom ; 
Cavour, silent when in office, at other times ready to 
expound his views on finance ; Massimo d'Azeglio, and a 
whole string of less conspicuous statesmen, some whose 
brief day of power ended with a provisional Government, 
some who lived on to attain recognition as Senators of the 
United Kingdom of Italy. All these play their speaking 
part in the Panizzi correspondence. The one conspicuous 
absentee from the three volumes is Panizzi himself. His 
letters to Prosper Merimee were burnt in the Commune con- 
flagration of 1 87 1. His letters to Settembrini, penned in 
invisible ink, were meant to be destroyed. Others have 
disappeared without explanation. For many years 
curiosity fastened on a sealed box of Panizzi papers which 
he left orders was not to be opened till a given date. The 
date came, the box was opened, but without any remark- 
able revelation. 

With all his zeal and activity, he possessed a saving 
discretion. It can hardly be an accident that, after all we 
know him best by his friends ; that from entanglements 
with the gentler sex he remained immune, and that his only 

•In the Liverpool Commercial Chronicle of 22nd September, 1827, 
appeared a full and intimate obituary notice of Ugo Foscolo, signed P., 
and doubtless written by Panizzi. 


attempt at verse was in a transla,tion from the English. 
The romantic side of his character and career belong to 
the race from which he sprung; but his great practical 
qualities were developed, and had their reward, in the 
service of his adopted country. 

After holding the office of Principal Librarian for nearly 
ten years he was retired on full pay, residing the last 13 
years of his life at 31 Bloomsbury Square, within a few 
minutes' walk of the Museum. His work there has been 
well summed up. He "found a library of 250,000 uncata- 
logucd volumes: he left a library of 1,100,000 thoroughly 
catalogued volumes, and provided with accommodation for 
additions, which, he calculated, would suffice for a period 
of 20 years." He had handsomely earned his place in the 
Dictionary of National Biography, the Valhalla of approved 

It may be convenient to add a few dates, marking the 
formal steps of his promotion, and also a list of authorities 
for the present paper. 

Antonio Panizzi, born September, 1897; arrives in Liverpool 
about August, 1823. 

May, 1828 (to 1837), Professor of Italian, University of London. 

1831, Extra Assistant Librarian, British Museum. 

a4th March, 1832, Letters of Naturalisation. 

1837, Keeper of Printed Books, British Museum. 

6th March, 1856, Principal Librarian, British Museum. 

24th June, 1875. resigned. 

8th April, 1879, dies. 

December, 1851, Legion of Honour. 

December, 1855, Order of Sts. Maurice and Lazaras of Sar- 

6th July, 1859, D.C.L., Oxford. 
July, 1861, Knighthood declined. 



June, 1866, C.B. declined. 

Circ. September, 1865 (confirmed 12th March, 1868), Senator 

of Italy. 

22nd April, 1868, Commander of the Order of the Crown 

of Italy. 

1869, K.C.B. 

The authorities for the present sketch are as follows : — 

1. Life of Sir Anthony Pauizzi, K.C.B. , 2 vols., by Lewis Fagan 
(of the Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum). 
Remington & Co., London, 1880. 

The writer is full of zeal and information, but displays only 
moderate skill in handling his materials. 

2. Lettere ad Antonio Panizzi, di nomini illustri e di amici 
italiani (1823-1870), pubblicate da Luigi Fagan, adetto al cabinetta 
delle stampe e dei disegni al Museo Britannico. (G. Barbera, 
editore). Firenze, 1880. 

3. Prosper Merimee — Lettres a M.Panizzt (1850-1870), publi6es 
par M. Louis Fagan, du cabinet des estampes au British Museum, 
2 vols. (Caiman Levy, editeur). Paris, 1881. 

4. Quarterly Review (1881), vol. 151, -pp. 463-501, an unsigned 
article on the above (i, 2, 3). Its writer is said to be Mr. W. C. 
Cartwright, and clearly has independent information. 

5. Article on Sir Anthony Panizzi in the Dictionary of National 
Biography. It is very competently done by Dr. Richard Garnett,. 
•who, of course, speaks from first hand knowledge. 

6. A volume (103 pp., 8vo) published at Brescello after the 
centenary celebrations, viz. : — La Vita, le Opere e i Tempi di Antonio 
Panizzi. Discorso del Prof. Enrico Friggeri. Belluno, 1897. 

Besides the text of the panegyric on Panizzi spoken by Prof. 
Friggeri, the volume contains notes thereon, an account of the 
celebrations, and a Panizzi bibliography. This is incomplete, as 
it omits Panizzi's anonymous contributions to the Quarterly and 
other Reviews. \ 

7. On the occasion of the centenary certain letters from 
Panizzi to Nicomedi Bianchi and others were published by 
V. Corradini ; but no copy seems to be now procurable. There 
are several letters of Panizzi's, to which reference has already 


been made, in vol. iii, Epistolario di Ugo Foscolo. (Le Monnier). 
Firenze, 1892. 

8. Besides Mr. Gladstone's pamphlets on the State Prosecu- 
tions of the Neopolitan Government (republished in vol. iv of the 
CUanittgs), cf. his article, originally printed in the Edinburgh 
Review of April, 1852, on Farini's Lo Slato Romano. 

9. Reports and Records 0/ the Liverpool Royal Institution, v. d. 




Imaginary conversations, imaginary portraits, corre- 
spondences, and travels — these are recognised and indeed 
legitimate agencies by which we may recall bygone ideals 
and achievements, while adapting their lessons to the 
problems of our own times. It is true that the search 
for primitive sensations, and especially the effort to 
reproduce them in a concrete form, is often the outcome 
of poverty and sometimes a sign of degeneracy; but 
where the parent influence is still active, comparisons, 
analogies, and .perhaps self-questionings are not unprofit- 
able. What would William Roscoe be saying to-day? 
What attitude would he adopt towards the problems of 
his native town, now grown into a great and famous city, 
endowed by the public spirit of its inhabitants and the 
wisdom of its governing authorities with Museums and 
Libraries, with Schools and Galleries of Art, with a 
University already distinguished by a vigorous and 
sympathetic personality — above all, what would Roscoe 
think about the development of the town itself — of streets, 
squares, docks, parks, gardens, of your public buildings 
and your private architecture, of all that combines to give 
character dignity and force, to the throbbing centre of a 
vast population ? 

On such matters one must treat as the fountain head, 
or rather as a datum line, the well-known discourse of 
1 817, in which Roscoe inaugurated the Royal Institution 
of Liverpool. It was an eloquent plea for what he called 
the " Conveniences and Elegancies of Life," but through- 


out there runs a note of apology for his broad thesis that 
hterature and art need not be dissociated from commerce. 
He makes an oblique reply to those who seem to have 
argued that our northern climate is inimical to artistic and 
scholarly development. He claims that " works of 
literature and taste actually repay in wealth and emolu- 
ment much more than they require for their support " — a 
proposition which equally applies to the " arts connected 
with design, painting, sculpture, and architecture, which 
must not be considered as a drawback in the accumulation 
of national wealth or as useless dependents upon the 
bounty of a country. On the contrary, wherever they 
have been encouraged they have contributed in an 
eminent degree not only to honour but to enrich the 
State." To our generation this view would cause little 
surprise, but Roscoe himself did not hesitate to admit 
that his assertion was " strange and novel." Strange and 
novel . . . what a flood of light is thus thrown 
upon the environment of his day. Roscoe was confronted 
by apathies, and probably opposition too; he shrewdly 
began at the beginning, and pronounced a considered and 
closely-argued vindication of learning. It was necessary. 
He boldly claimed for artistic culture in its widest 
connotation, a place within the life of a commercial 
community; moreover, that artistic enterprise is entided 
to its own honoured status, and to be regarded as one 
of the primary functions of progressive and creative 
thought. He insisted on the intimate association of art 
with our mundane and everyday concerns. " Utility and 
pleasure," he says, " are bound together in an indissoluble 
cham"; and he went further in assuming that while 
the arts as such deserve recognition as an independent 
manifestation of human invention and resource, they 
must maintain their alliance with life as a whole. Let 


me quote his actual words. " To suppose that they 
are to be encouraged upon some abstract and disinterested 
plan from which all idea of utility shall be excluded, is 
to suppose that a building can be erected without a 
foundation. There is not a greater error than to think 
that the arts can subsist on the generosity of the public. 
They are willing to repay whatever is devoted to their 
advantage, but they will not become slaves." 

I think Roscoe's lesson has been learned, at any rate 
there are few who will openly contest his propositions; 
but we fall short in their application. Commerce is still 
a little nervous of the artist who does not readily work 
to contract or specification ; public authorities are still 
somewhat reluctant to spend rates or taxes upon what 
are called luxuries, and looked upon as phylacteries 
which may adorn in moments of prosperity, but which 
must be rigidly discarded in less spacious times. Yet 
the fame of a city, the distinction of its chief citizens, 
has seldom depended on successful commerce in isolation. 
Of political, spiritual, or military aspects of fame I 
naturally shall not speak this evening ; but the city of 
distinction is that where the elegancies of life have been 
most fruitfully studied in the past, where to-day we can 
rejoice in the effort of past generations and supplement 
them by our own. Who are the great merchant princes 
of the past whose names have survived? Why precisely 
those whose affluence was most closely linked with the 
cultural eminence of their times — the Fuggers of 
Augsburg, the Medici of Florence ; we think of Burgo- 
master Six of Amsterdam, the patron of Rembrandt ; of 
Gian Arnolfini and his wife, who have won immortality 
because they had the good sense to employ Van Eyck 
to paint their portraits! The Halls and Chapels of the 
Merchant Companies and Guilds of Venice, Antwerp, 


Brussels, or London, the Market Squares and Exchanges, 
the Schoolhouses, Scholarships, and Charitable Founda- 
tions — all these point to successful commerce in the past ; 
but the names of their founders are no longer associated 
with the scale of forgotten balance-sheets. It is the 
qualitative rather than the quantitative measurement 
which lives on, a credit entry to themselves and a debit 
against posterity. 

Towns are the jewels of a nation's diadem. In our 
modern polity we entrust to a chosen group of men and 
women the duty of guarding the peace of our townships, 
of being patrons of our civic privileges. Upon them falls 
a full measure of responsibility, for it is they who must 
add lustre to the beauty of these jewels, splendour to the 
crown of our realm, and thus ultimately enhance the 
magic diadem of our Empire. And how heavy is the 
burden carried by our chief municipalities! Civic 
problems of to-day are incalculably larger and much more 
complex as well than when Roscoe urged his fellow- 
townsmen to acquire knowledge of the manners and 
affairs of public life. The growth of population alone 
demonstrates the intensification of all these issues, and 
connotes the multiplication of requirements and 
necessities which were not only unrecognised but unknown 
or needless a hundred years ago. In one direction Roscoe 
and his contemporaries had little occasion to concern 
themselves, namely, with what we call the Amenity of a 
great town. I am driven to use the word, thought I do 
not much like it, since I observe it is too often monopolised 
and misused by the wrong people. Amenity in its 
general outline represents all the pleasure and advantages 
which spring from the ordered sequence of our thorough- 
fares, the adequate supply of change and recreation 
afforded by open spaces, reverence for the monuments 


of our ancestry, zeal in recording the work and valour of 
our own times — all, let us hope, supplemented and 
enriched by a responsive intellectual life ; in short, the 
external dignity, the domestic comfort, and the artistic 
quickening of a great community. Roscoe's ambition was 
that Liverpool should not merely keep pace with other 
populous communities, but also excel them. His wish 
has assuredly been realised. What have been the gains 
and losses in the process, what are the prospects and the 
retrospects too? 

That sincere and discerning lover of old Liverpool, 
Matthew Gregson, wrote in 1817: "Never do I view the 
drawing of the old Custom House and Quay but with 
emotions of pleasure and a mixture of public pride, in 
contemplating the gradual rise of my native town from a 
poor fishing hamlet to its present high eminence in trade 
and commerce — a proof of the persevering industry of 
its inhabitants." What was called a poor decayed town 
in 1 57 1 has indeed grown with momentum. Ground plans 
of mediaeval towns often enough show a series of 
concentric rings, which mark the removal of old walls and 
their replacement by fresh circles of fortification, 
ultimately forming an outer circle of boulevard. In 
commercial towns, or those less liable to the attentions of 
quarrelsome neighbours, than was customary in Spain 
Italy or Flanders, the accretion of houses is less 
methodical and governed by a different set of circum- 
stances. Liverpool, when once it was safe to extend 
beyond the tiny enceinte bounded by St. Nicholas' 
Church and the Castle, expanded without limitation or 
control. The rambling lines of Liverpool, Manchester, or 
Glasgow show that military considerations were never 
dominant, and that in the absence (the merciful absence) 
of a Baron Haussmann, who revolutionised Paris, we 


relied upon individual effort, or I should perhaps say upon 
individual caprice, trusting to British character and enter- 
prise to please itself, by exercising much, little, or no 
control. British character is perhaps the best policeman 
we can enlist, but its propensities for town-planning are 
small. One result was inevitable. Trade was hampered 
by chronic congestion, locomotion and transport were 
often rendered impossible, and apart from other factors 
of health and security. Reform became imperative, and 
Reform assumed the style and title of Improvements. 
" During the time of progress and improvements between 
1786 and 1804," writes Gregson, "I caused several 
picturesque drawings to be made, up Castle Street and 
down Castle Street, from and to the Exchange, down 
Dale Street, up High Street, from Clarke's Bank and the 
East side of High Street ; another with the curious groupe 
of old houses extending from Tythebarn Street to Dale 
Street and North front of the Town Hall before the 
Exchange buildings were in contemplation." The very 
names recall memories of the early documents of the town, 
and together with the most valuable collection of local 
topography preserved in the public collections, suffice to 
prove that old Liverpool possessed buildings which would 
be worth a ransom to-day. Alas ! that the improvements 
should have been quite so drastic, that here and there 
some structure of special note or merit should not have 
been spared. I feel quite emotionne by that reference 
to the curious group of old houses in Tithebarn Street. 
They vanished because they were commonplaces to their 
generation, because your great-grandfathers failed to 
foresee the tastes and aspirations of to-day. Should not 
every great city have its society organisation or movement, 
devoted to cultivating the heritage and amenities of its 
own time and equally prescient for the needs and 


traditions of its great-grandchildren? The contrast of 
old with new forges the link which joins succeeding 
generations. It is stimulating to the eye, guiding to the 
hand, eloquent to the brain, inspiring to the heart. Much 
has perforce been lost, but progress need not always be 
obtained at such a sacrifice, and we do not make our- 
selves modern by resolutely forgetting the past. Honour 
thy Father and thy Mother that thy days may be long 
in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 

But I am far from blaming the authorities of 1786. 
Mr. Touzeau's capital book records that as long ago as 
1703 the need of building regulations was recognised, and 
an imprudent citizen had to pay the penalty for encroach- 
ment by pulling down his partly-built house. But things 
followed our usual haphazard course, and it was not until 
1786 that Liverpool obtained its first systematic Town- 
Improvement Statute. Even so the effort was partial 
and sporadic, and trifling expenditure then might have 
saved huge outlays and perhaps waste later on. " When 
one buildeth and another puUeth down, what profit have 
they then but Labour ? " What we may now consider 
oversights were natural and easily explained. We must 
welcome what was achieved rather than lament what was 
unfulfilled. Much, as I say, was accomplished, and it is 
remarkable considering our casual methods that success 
should not have been more often impeded. While much 
can be attributed to Gregson and Roscoe, there were 
others whose vision was wide. 1 827- 1828 is a particularly 
interesting period. Grandiose schemes were in contem- 
plation — a bridge over the Mersey, a tunnel beneath it. 
In this year the Birkenhead Estates were acquired, a 
noteworthy act of prevision ; it was decided in principle 
to erect a Public Hall — we all know how gloriously that 
noble project matured. The Councillors of 1828 were 


sensible and downright people. They began to put up 
street nameplates. They subscribed 500 guineas towards 
the Botanic Gardens. They gave prizes — premiums of 
60 guineas — to be awarded to the three best works of art 
executed in Liverpool and its neighbourhood. They also 
reflected the sporting proclivities of Lancashire. They 
patronised Racing officially. They had the courage to 
back their fancy by voting 120 guineas of public money 
as a purse for the winner of the Cup, 30 guineas for the 
second horse. I confess I rather like them for this ; but as 
Renan said of the French terrorists, nous les aimons a con- 
dition qu'ih soient les derniers de leiir race. Such distractions 
should only be indulged once every two hundred years — 
I was going to suggest once a century, but I reflect that 
1928 is immediately before us. I fear it is still too soon 
to include Racing in my plea for the elegancies of life. 
You see it might go so far. One has visions of municipal 
jockeys and trainers, stud farms and totahsers. It would 
also add too much alacrity to municipal elections, and 
would require a new vocabulary of denunciation or praise. 
Are not the appropriate phrases springing to your lips? 
But one must not scandalise municipal auditors, or terrify 
surcharged Councillors. And yet the interview between 
the Lord Mayor and a Solemnity from the Ministry of 
Health would be historic in your annals — something worth 
broadcasting, something novel and tasty for the Movies; 
and Science progresses so swiftly that we may be sure 
that by 1928 the newspapers of the Antipodes would 
within an hour or two reproduce the picture of the 
Solemnity alighting from his cab, and another of the 
Solemnity creeping back into it, let us hope suitably crest- 
fallen and depressed. But I must be cautious. Ever 
since 1563 it has been considered High Treason to refer 
m terms of levity to the Mayor of Liverpool or any other 


Solemnity ; so bidding farewell to these protagonists of a 

Brighter Liverpool, to the heroes of 1828 (or must I call 

them banditti?), let us revert to the problems beginning 

a hundred years ago, when town-planning was still in its 

infancy— and indeed it is still far from reaching maturity. 

Improvements are generally discounted by the loss of 

historic buildings which illustrate the temperament and 

character of the older community. The Fortress or Tower 

seems to have perished from dilapidation rather than for 

any special reason. St. John's Church had to be removed 

in order to give space and scale to St. George's Hall, a 

loss one must not regret, as Elmes' grand structure was 

thus placed upon its own unrivalled pedestal, like the 

altar of a great temple, erect and austere, unembarrassed 

by all that is small in its vicinity. Note that the church 

was removed after and not before the erection of the Hall, 

the older building being reserved until its destruction was 

shown to be justified. Here is a lesson one will do well 

to respect. The original Town Hall, " a handsome 

building set upon pillars," according to the instructions of 

the Town Council in 1674, the old Custom House, and 

numberless warehouses, residences, and so forth have 

long since vanished. What, may we ask, is in process of 

vanishing to-day — what can be spared from the exacting 

demands of transport and re-housing? That St. Paul's 

Church should be doomed cannot fail to arouse feelings of 

regret, for its massive lines, its strength and stability, 

alike uncompromising and uncompromised, reflect the 

integrity and the honesty of purpose upon which the 

foundations of Liverpool's prosperity repose. On a 

Sicilian hillside and with the added patina of two or three 

centuries, St. Paul's Church would be one of the famous 

ruins of the world. And St. Peter's, now represented by 

a vacant area soon to be occupied by buildings of which 


Liverpool can doubtless show ample precedent in style 
and objective? The church is gone— its ghosts must 
wish that the site might become a little enclave of garden 
— yet one must not sigh for the impossible. Much 
ecclesiastical architecture has been lost, and one can only 
seek compensation in that new quarter where churches 
seem endemic to the soil; I get bewildered in trying to 
count them as I pass along Prince's Avenue. Moreover, 
vacant sites have been thoughtfully left for the Parali- 
pomena. I console myself with the thought that this 
neighbourhood must be an ideal resort for the student of 
comparative philology. 

On the other hand, what has been gained? Firstly. 
St. George's Hall, which ennobles the city, flanked 
as it is by that concentration of intellectual progress 
represented by Picture Galleries, Libraries, Schools, 
and Museums of Art. Here Liverpool possesses in 
her city square what is often lacking elsewhere, 
namely the heart from which all the generous impulses 
may flow. Secondly, the evolution of the Dock-front 
or Pier-head is in its own sphere equally remarkable 
— that broad space reclaimed from the river and corre- 
sponding with the immeasurable areas of ocean across 
which your galleons have carried argosies, from the 
inexhaustible East and into the Western world. On this 
unencumbered piazza one can breathe a farewell or 
receive a spacious welcome before plunging into the back- 
ground devoted to the daily avocations of commerce. If 
St. George's Hall be the heart of Liverpool, the Dock- 
front, this majestic gateway of two hemispheres, 
assuredy represents your right hand. Contrast the River 
front and the City Square, twin centres of industrial 
progress and accomplished thought ; each is the pivot of its 
own ideals. But does the heart always throb in unison 


with the hand, does the hand always minister to the heart ? 
Here is a question Roscoe might well ask, and do so with 
all deference and respect. 

For it is in the application of Roscoe's principles that 
difficulties will arise, since none of us will deny that the 
instruments of heart and hand should be complementary 
and reciprocal. How, then, should these principles be 
translated into concrete form, how ensure that the progress 
of amenity shall be studied in its intellectual as well as its 
physical form, that the conveniences of public life shall 
not conflict with the elegancies or vice versa? Let me 
say that there is no ground for the common assumption 
that a city which has not already remodelled the accesses 
and exits of its central area need pay no attention to these 
problems owing to their prohibitive cost ; nor on the other 
hand should we commit the folly of making a fetish of 
town-planning. " We can still enjoy the complexities of 
Ravenna or Salisbury or Nuremburg. Even the City of 
London, which retains many of its pre-fire lines, can 
devise methods to overcome the obstacles of crooked and 
narrow lanes. Twenty-five years ago people were 
scolding London for its aggressive irregularities, for 
its defiance of axial lines, and for its masked 
vistas, but one has come to realise that its incon- 
sequence begets endless surprises comparisons and 
contrasts, and that the symmetrical perfections of Paris 
give no scope for the imagination and leave no word 
unspoken. Like London, Liverpool abounds in unexpected 
peeps and paradoxes. Town-planning can do many 
things of modest stature, but under present conditions it 
must be largely confined to the suburbs, where we see 
the chief experiments of recent years. A general 
principle governing the lay-out of new housing schemes 
appears to be that all the roads (and presumably all under- 


ground pipes) must be curved, and that every back door 
shall command and be commanded by its neighbours. 
Of course these estates have been developed under 
conditions of abnormal difficulty, and their patrons had to 
acknowledge that virtue is like a rich stone, best plain 
set; but due insistence on such a dictum is apt to prove 
fatiguing. While the outer circle of great towns must 
therefore be the venue of developments both in housing 
and open spaces, the inner circle will still call for immense 
ingenuity and enterprise. During the next fifty years 
whole areas of Liverpool, and big ones too, will be 
demolished. It is not a day too soon to begin to formulate 
the sentiment and ideal which shall guide these 
tremendous ventures, as their reaction upon the city as a 
whole will be immediate and far-reaching. 

But Liverpool as a municipal unit is not alone 
concerned. Your requirements already make you stretch 
out your arms into Cheshire and Wales, while contiguous 
authorities are interested in Liverpool as the place where 
their residents work, just as you are concerned in outside 
areas which provide the homes of your daily population. 
What is your plan for the re-housing scheme of shall we 
say 1950? Though remote, the problem exists in 
embryo, and its solution cannot be extemporised a few 
years before the necessities impel action. Such things 
should not be left to chance, or to the providential descent 
of some unexpected genius. 

Let me quote the case of New York. The Commis- 
sioners of 1 811, when New York had a population of 
90,000, wrote as follows: ". . . It may be a subject 
of merriment that the Commissioners have provided space 
for a greater population than is collected on any spot on 
tins side of China ... it may be a matter of surprise 
that so few vacant spaces have been left and those so 


snuiU for the benefit of fresh air and consequent 
preservation of health. Certainly if the City of New York 
were destined to stand on the side of a small stream, such 
as the Seine or the Thames, a great number of ample 
spaces might be needful ; but those large arms of the sea 
which embrace Manhattan Island render the situation in 
regard to health and pleasure, as well as to convenience 
of commerce, peculiarly felicitous ; when therefore from 
the same cause the price of land is so uncommonly great, 
it seemed proper to admit the principles of economy to 
greater influence than might, under circumstances of a 
different kind, have consisted with the dictates of prudence 
or the sense of duty." 

And so the New York Commissioners laid out their 
gridiron — rectangular, symmetrical, stern. The open 
spaces are represented by their estuary, which doubtless 
provides brisk air, but which is unseen by so many, and 
to that extent as pitiless to the eye as the street. To-day 
Greater New York has a population of 9,000,000. They 
are boldly facing their difficulties. They are constructing 
a great regional plan — which covers all the social, sanitary, 
transport, welfare, legal, and hygienic ramifications 
involved in the comprehensive treatment of a vast subject. 
The London Society has long been engaged on the 
informal enquiries which must precede the drafting of a 
specific series of schemes. All this applies with direct 
cogency to Liverpool. 

The scale of such a problem is immense, its complexity 
is truly alarming; one is reluctant to impose such a task 
upon public authorities which are already overworked and 
over-burdened with pressing questions of the hour. Their 
responsibility ought to be mitigated by the co-operation 
of citizens who interest themselves in such matters, and 
to whom I think the Municipalities have every right to 


turn. If groups of keen and well-informed people would 
set to work upon particular items of a regional programme 
—exits, accesses, open spaces, re-housing, whatever it be, 
they would invent a scheme, thrash out, canvass, discuss, 
and finally reject it, beginning it all over again with more 
assured knowledge and growing certainty of success. 
Great benefit would emerge even from the formulation 
and embodiment of broad principles. A preliminary 
clearing-house would discard fallacies, lay down general 
lines of action and what is equally important, would 
establish the intimate connection of economic and 
industrial, artistic and hygienic considerations which are 
involved. I often wonder why our great towns do not 
enjoy the power to co-opt on to their committees which 
control town-planning and the administration of parks 
persons who have given special study and attention to 
these subjects. The right exists and is freely exercised 
in relation to Education, Free Libraries, and Housing; 
why this liberty should be withheld precisely where it 
might be most serviceable is puzzling. It seems specially 
regrettable because smaller authorities have unfettered 
freedom, and every regional scheme must involve relations 
with numerous local authorities of greater or lesser 

The immediate objective seems to me to set public 
opinion to work. Public opinion is there, but it is inchoate 
and unequipped, and there is no occasion for complacency. 
It is vaguely conscious of the absurdities and jumbles 
which surround us, and it regrets that a noble building 
should be flanked by a vulgarian or by a snob. The 
application of bye-laws to drainage stability or altitude, 
is rigid and exacting : these only represent one feature of 
architectural practice— health, light, and safety— but the 
effect upon the eye, the harmony and dignity of the town 


as a whole, these things also should be influenced; and 
where public opinion is alert, where civic pride is strong, 
the local authority will readily take its share in maintaining 
the highest standard available. Apart from the big 
schemes I have been referring to, every new building 
erected will be a fresh unit of gain or loss — drab, shabby, 
nondescript, respectable, or fine — and the unit of 
comparison as well as the test of success must assuredly 
be the most famous and successful of what already exists. 
St. George's Hall and other distinguished buildings, public 
and commercial, are a silent but eloquent protest against 
every effort which is incongruous or insincere. 

Every building has its own style — right, wrong, or 
what is almost as bad, neutral; and its style is the index 
of fitness for its aim and objective. Old Newgate 
possessed in a pre-eminent degree the frowning severity of 
a gaol. The Bank of England is what it purports to be, 
a treasure-house ; Edinburgh Castle is and can be nothing 
but a fortress. Here you already have St. George's Hall, 
which represents the high aspirations of civic pride. 
You are building a Cathedral which is going to be a real 
Cathedral, and you have a Town Hall which is the 
embodiment of sober and well-ordered citizenship, 
providing also the official apartments for the man you 
honour with your Chief Magistracy — and the Town Hall 
aptly reflects the ramifications of your interest oversea. Is 
not the bronze door-knocker an effigy of Neptune — while 
on the Exchange Flags, the calm detached square at the 
back ■ of the building where merchants were wont to 
congregate, there are erected statues to Columbus, 
Mercator, Galileo, Drake . . . May I remind you in 
passing that there are still ten vacant plinths? 

And if the individual building possesses its own style, 
the city likewise, the aggregate of buildings should possess 


its style too. The city has its character and avocations — 
locally one can see them readily enough in particular wards 
or parishes or streets ; but the city as a whole, as a collective 
unit, must be coloured less or more by its own personality. 
How cities vary — what stories of effort and disappointment, 
of success or neglect can be read into their lines and 
lineaments and levels. A town can die like the generation 
who built it — a town can thrive with the good conduct, 
thrift, and enthusiasm of its inhabitants. Sometimes the 
character of a town is imposed upon it by nature — Venice 
is a case in point. Elsewhere character blazes out of some 
discovery, such as Johannesburg, or else it is created as 
at Monte Carlo, plagiarised as in the modern industrial 
cities of Japan, borrowed in Buenos Aires, purchased in 
Delhi, stolen in Constantinople. Each and all must 
possess a countenance varying according to the eternal 
changes of mankind. And Liverpool ? It seems to me that 
your home has been fought for and has been won. Are 
there not hundreds of miles of mudbanks in these islands 
resembling your own? Yet it is here, at this very spot, 
enclosed, embanked, reclaimed, extended again and 
again, that character has asserted itself with persistent and 
compelling force. And so I should surmise that the 
quayside, the dock, the harbour, the warehouse, and 
those towering structures whence radiate the directing 
impulses of Commerce — in short, that the ocean and its 
appurtenances, form the structural character of your town. 
At this point let me abruptly pass to another branch of 
the subject. 

In the discourse of 18 17 Roscoe, still perhaps with a 
nuance of apology, referred to a " morose supposition that 
fair prospects, beautiful flowers, or sweet sounds are below 
the dignity or unworthy the attention of an improved and 
rational mind." Roscoe was a keen gardener and a skilled 


botanist as well. He took a prominent part in establishing 
the Botanic Gardens, to which I fancy the Corporation 
presented the land. He was also a zealous advocate of 
agriculture as the foundation of all that a State most 
urgently requires. He identified the cultivation of the soil 
with the cultivation of the mind with an emphasis which 
is truly remarkable. His effort to plant Chat Moss, and 
his regrets (how often shared by other arboriculturalists) 
that he had not begun long before, gave rise to some 
interesting correspondence, and he was assured, with what 
justice I know not, that his effort was the greatest under- 
taking of its kind in the kingdom. But for my present 
purpose I would more particularly refer to the fair prospects 
and beautiful flowers in so far as they concern the amenities 
of the inner circles of large towns. Many of our 
predecessors went amiss in neglecting to preserve the town 
commons and greens which lay well within the reach of 
their central areas. But can one be surprised ? Why, 
for instance, should Liverpool, say in 1823, have made 
any special effort at a time when the real countryside lay 
just beyond her boundaries, and in many cases actually 
survived inside them? Houses were so low in stature, 
so many possessed big gardens, and intervening 
unoccupied spaces were so frequent (any old map will 
confirm this) that it was almost inevitable that the first 
scheme to develop some open stretch of municipal or 
manorial property would be hailed with satisfaction. 
Early in the 17th century there seems to have been a 
disp)osition to safeguard public interests, but gradually, to 
our lasting remorse, town after town, from heedlessness 
rather than cupidity, permitted the obliteration of open 
spaces which to-day would be inconceivable in value. 
Alas! that in our time it should so often be necessary 
to go outside a city to breathe. The bigger the population 


the more grievous the loss. Happily in London a central 
group of parks, unique so far as I know in the whole world, 
affords that variation to the human senses which is so 
necessary for the health, comity, and repose of urban 
populations. Dublin and Edinburgh (likewise owing to 
the fact of their being capital cities) are endowed with 
magnificent parks adjacent to the town, though less 
central than in the metropoHs. Berlin, Vienna, Paris, 
Madrid, New York, all possess superb parks, but all are 
outside and beyond the ordinary range of urban 
occupation and movement. It is quite an expedition to 
reach the Bois de Boulogne; but half a million people 
cross and pass Hyde Park every twenty-four hours. 

All must applaud the success of great provincial towns 
in repairing omissions and oversights of bygone days, 
though Liverpool itself did not always appreciate the 
efforts of her Town Council at a time when such initiative 
was all too rare. Let me pay tribute to Alderman 
Rainford, who in 1743 undertook to lay out enclosed grass 
plots for the inhabitants to dry their clothes on. These 
pleasant grounds addicted to the housewives of 1743 have 
long since vanished ; no trace has been preserved of those 
busy, gossiping Hanoverian soapsuds. Much more regret- 
table is the loss of the two public walks formed in the 
same year— the Ladies' Walks, as they were happily called, 
with a direct and old-world gallantry for which you will 
permit me to offer the good alderman and his colleagues 
your ex post facto thanks. One of these walks was to 
be in the north, the other in the south of the town, 
respectively near Duke Street and Old Hall Street. Ten 
years later a third walk, leading towards Quarry Hill, 
likewise dedicated by name to the ladies of Liverpool, was 
constructed at the expense of the Corporation. The line 
of one of these walks is now marked by the towpath of 


a canal. These walks were not short cuts for the bustling 
tradesman or the errand-boy ; they were Ladies' Walks, so 
designed and so styled by the Corporation — interludes of 
social recreation and calm, to which from time to time the 
other sex would doubtless be invited. In Roscoe's words, 
they ranked among the elegancies of life. Their loss is 
almost a tragedy, for it is within the city and in the 
closely-populated areas where street follows street without 
intermission or relief, that the break of continuity is most 
essential. It is not only in the boundless deserts of the 
East that an oasis brings joy to the wayfarer. I plead 
for no extravagant scheme which would burden finance in 
one direction or check its profitable employment in another. 
To do so would be an impertinence on my part, but with 
study and discrimination much can be accomplished at 
slender cost. Even a casual tree here and there, with its 
constant alternations of light and shade, its graceful move- 
ments and harmony of dim sounds, its transitions from one 
range of colour to another, above all, with the tenderness 
and sentiment arising from its recurrent generations of 
foliage — a single tree can do much — so much ; and a 
solitary tree in St. Peter's Square is worth a little grove 
in Sefton Park. Trees grow very well here. Liverpool 
enjoys an advantage, shared by few Lancashire towns, in 
that its prevalent wind carries in its train a relatively small 
proportion of smoke. There is a freshness in the West 
Lancashire air, judging from the parks and avenues, which 
is gratifying to Liverpool trees, which perhaps also enjoy 
the sonority of our Lancashire breezes as they waft to and' 
fro so many messages of activity and enterprise. Mean- 
while, I give you the toast of Alderman Rainford and the 
fair maidens of 1743. 

And now, ladies and gentlemen, having walked you- 
round and round the city, may I invite you to come indoors 


for a few minutes, to explore the heart of Liverpool— into 
your Libraries, Museums, and Galleries, through the 
lecture-rooms of your University, peeping here and there 
into a counting-house. If one has occasion to deplore 
losses of outdoor features which might have been spared 
to the lasting benefit of the community, there has at any 
rate been a steady and cumulative growth of indoor 
possessions, — works of art of all descriptions, which now 
form a broad and comprehensive unit of study, recreation, 
and research. The Gallery of Modern Painting is naturally 
the best known and most popular branch of all, and 
Liverpool shares the credit with a great Midland 
municipality of having so boldly recognised the claims of 
the pre-Raphaelite school, which encountered ridicule and 
obloquy in its inception, and was so long neglected by 
our national collections. And to have acquired representa- 
tive paintings by no less than sixty-five artists of Liver- 
pool and the neighbourhood, measures on the one hand 
the creative activity which exists, and likewise the 
readiness of the city to do justice to local artists — following 
in effect the precedent established by the giants of 1828. 
Then again the small but choice collection of old masters, 
formed on a nucleus drawn from the Roscoe collection, is 
valuable; and though we should not allow the past to 
impose its traditions and outlook with too rigid a sway, we 
can nevertheless learn much from men whose technical 
skill is still unsurpassed, and whose inspiration was so 
effortless and so true. Roscoe was very catholic in his 
tastes, a close student of engravings and drawings, patron 
of a contemporary whose fame only reached its apogee 
long after the artist's death— George Romney, while as 
a bibhophile Roscoe ranks high, among the highest, in 
fact. I need only say that he possessed Fust and 
Schoeffer's Psalter of 1459, the Cathohcon of 1460, the 


Lactantius of 1465, the New Testament of 1472, the 
Boccaccio of 1473, the First Folio of Shakespeare, and 
many incunabula, early poems, and romances of chivalry. 
It is satisfactory to reflect that selected examples of 
Roscoe's library recall his memory to those who frequent 
the Athenaeum. I rejoice that his tradition is honoured 
in the literary side of municipal activity. The Central 
Library takes its appointed post in that concentration 
flanking St. George's Hall as the central unit of learning 
and inspiration. There are avalanches of free libraries 
to-day, but their provision is simpler that their profitable 
employment. I feel sure, however, that in your secluded 
and workmanlike interior presides the very ^io: needful 
for study and contemplation. The library is all- 
important, as it must respond to every citizen who wishes 
to illustrate, to amplify, or to vindicate his attempt to 
achieve civic or intellectual progress. Time precludes 
my referring to the study of art, most particularly in 
relation to architecture and archaeology, or to scientific, 
musical, or medical progress ; to only one other section 
of your municipal collections will I allude, namely, the 
Mayer Bequest. Somehow or other I derive the impression 
that its very subtle value is ill appreciated. Some 
rearrangement which shall do adequate justice to superb 
things — among the ivories, for instance — while suppressing 
those of inferior merit which can be kept elsewhere for 
reference purposes, would enhance the immense value of 
the collections now discounted by defective cataloguing 
and faulty display. In one sense these collections form 
the best precedent and exemplar for the craftsman who 
seeks delicacy of touch, daintiness of design, discretion 
of material — all the charm and attractions of the choice 
objet d'art. It is always well to supplement these early 
specimens by examples of modern handiwork, so that the 


craftsmen and manufacturers of to-day may profit by the 
comparison of old with new, applying what is called 
industrial or minor art to the common wares and imple- 
ments of every-day life, thus extending the realm of 
beauty to all our surroundings. 

These Libraries and Art Collections provide a huge 
stock of instruments of progress. The schedule of 
acquisitions is the record of long and consistent effort. 
The fundamentals are at the disposal of all. But they 
must not remain a mere aggregation of specimens ; they 
themselves must live and move. II n'y a rien de plus mort 
que ce qui ne bouge pas. . . . Movement, development, 
fruition. The creation of a fine picture or statue or 
house, is not quite the end of art — it is only the beginning 
of its second career; for each must be understood or it 
loses meaning, rightly used or it is debased. The statue 
can only be valued by those well enough trained to see 
and to sympathise. We do not bury our masterpieces 
inside a pyramid. 

The acquisition of knowledge is both our best assurance 
that past genius will be respected, and that the hidden 
genius of to-morrow shall enjoy every chance of develop- 
ing with freedom and security. The University must 
perform this dual function. Young and modern, it can 
strike out its own line, better able than older foundations 
to adapt itself to prevailing conditions, more likely there- 
fore to effect a close alliance with the city and its public 
opinion. Recognised as a Parliamentary constituency, 
and associating itself with every phase of science and 
research, its development will show that University 
education is destined to become the foundation rather than 
the coping-stone of commercial success as well as of 
academic distinction. The trade of Liverpool is nor 
immune from competition, and the British counting-house 


must recognise that advanced education elsewhere can 
only be met by the provision of the higher learning at 
home. This is best accomplished where af?inities between 
town and university are most spontaneous, and where 
the relation of commerce and the humanities is most 
freely conceded. This sense of interdependence and the 
acknowledgment of mutual obligations will go far to 
revive and perhaps to generate forces of which we scarcely 
can measure the significance and power — forces which will 
contribute as much to commercial success as to intellectual 
fame. And running on parallel lines one can suggest 
that the Royal Institution, our hosts of this evening, may 
act as the rallying point of detached efforts — geographical, 
philosophical, historical, antiquarian, and thus provide a 
nexus with the University and at the same time preserve 
the tradition and honour the memory of Gregson, Mayer, 
Elmes, Walker, Hornby, and Roscoe. 

And how much has already been done ! Is it not 
encouraging to reflect how slender is the distinction 
between what is poor and passable, between what is good 
and great ? Should not this stimulate to fresh and perhaps 
final effort to accomplish the last intervening stage? In 
some things, for instance the practice of spelling, a 
common level approaching perfection is reached, I will not 
quite say by the average citizen, but at least by the 
average graduate, a high standard not even exceeded in 
the realm of football, which commands an equal number 
of devotees. In architecture hundreds, thousands of good, 
substantial, honest buildings have been erected in our own 
day; but if the cornice is just wrong, or the relation of 
window and wall ill-judged, or if the distribution of space 
be wasteful or pretentious, obvious virtues will not make 
good for such defects, and only those works are crowned 
with distinction where oroportion, character, and refine- 


ment are unimpeachable. Again the difference between 
an indifferent portrait and a good one is often infinitesimal, 
between a good and a flattering dividend, between one 
speed record and its predecessor. But the last knot or 
two are the most difficult to attain. In commercial life 
perfection may cost more than it returns, and may well 
be economically unsound. 

Not so in intellectual life or civic amenity. On the 
contrary, the high and even inaccessible ideals deserve 
the sustained effort and will yield the supreme result. 
Those who have travelled so far after mastering all the 
basic elements may be within reach of an unseen goal, for 
there comes a point where progress becomes a transmuta- 
tion, where skill merges into genius, and success is 
suddenly fused into perfection. Here and there it is 
already consummated. You have such ideals before your 

Let me gather up the threads of my homily, the 
threads which bind heart and hand, town and gown, 
culture and commerce. Each in isolation is good, but 
combined their potency is magnified tenfold. This 
unification and concentration of opportunity should be 
eagerly grasped : and if class consciousness divides forces 
and steriHzes effort, civic consciousness and pride will 
focus and vitalise, most of all where heart and hand 
rejoice in active sympathy and co-operation. 

Liverpool, the city which has been fought for and has 
been won from the tides, has its outlook across the oceans, 
and in its chief industry of shipping employs instruments 
and equipment which are in themselves noble — a calling 
which demands resolution and alertness, ceaseless struggle, 
unbroken vigilance. Liverpool is a city where stirring 
examples have been set, great lessons taught, and where 
the very highest objectives must still be attained. 



By GEORGE ADAMI, C.B.E., M.D., F.R.S., &c. 


It is interesting how, with time, words imperceptibly 
change their meaning and how this has told upon our 
society. Translated into modern language, the title of 
our Society means truly the society for the cultivation of 
the Arts and Sciences. I make this pronouncement not 
merely as the result of a study of the communications made 
to the Society during the first fifty years of its existence, 
but also from a comparative study of the use of the term 
" philosophical." As a result of the former study I find that 
those communications group themselves into two orders, 
the one — the literary — including papers upon History, 
Biography and Antiquities, Aesthetics, Architecture, 
Education, the Classics and Archaeology, Pictorial Art and 
English Literature : the other, and by far the larger group, 
consists of, more particularly, zoological and bctanical 
papers, geological, chemical, physical, astronomical, and 
an interesting group upon currency and other political 
and economical subjects. These to-day we would certainly 
term, not philosophical, but scientific. Up to the 'sixties, 
communications upon what we to-day regard as philosophy 
par excellence are striking by their very absence. In 
Volume 4 (1859) is an address by the Reverend A. Hume 
on " Intellectuality in the Lower Animals," but t^at is more 
a natural history than a philosophical study. In Volume 8 


IS an address by the Reverend A. Ramsay on the "Life 
and Character of Hobbes," but that again is more bio- 
graphical than anything else and should be classified in our 
first group. Only after the 'seventies, as the previous mean- 
ing of philosophical gives place to the modern, do we find a 
steadily increasing number of publications upon sophistics, 
id est upon ethics and mental and moral philosophy. 

I lay this down also from a comparison with other 
Societies founded at the end of the i8th and beginning of 
the 19th century. The Cambridge Philosophical Society, 
for example, maintains its old tradition of dealing with all 
the sciences, mathematics especially, although chemistry, 
physics and the biological sciences keep well to the fore. 
And from the time of John Dalton to the present day the 
Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society has main- 
tained its reputation for original communications in 
Chemistry and Physics. Turning to a society of 
yet earlier origin, even as late as 1847, those Fellows 
of the Royal Society who most desired to promote 
the scientific objects of that great body banded themselves 
into the "Philosophical Club," with monthly meetings, in 
order " to facilitate intercourse between those Fellows who 
are actively engaged in cultivating the various branches of 
Natural Science and who have contributed to its progress." 
And this club continued to flourish for two generations, 
until in 1901 it was merged into the yet older and possibly 
more convivial " Royal Society Club," whose history goes 
back to 1743, if not indeed to the very foundations of the 
Royal Society in 1662. Pepys, who later became 
President of that Society, on the day of his admission as 
a Fellow in 1664-5, notes that after his admission he 
attended what he terms a " club supper at the Crown 
Taverne behind the 'Change with my Lord the President 
(Brouncker) and most of the company." And on another 


occasion he confessed that he had told his wife that he had 
been at the Club, whereas in truth he had spent the even- 
ing in yet livelier and less creditable company. But as 
Sir Archibald Geikie points out, until 1787-88 this old 
Royal Society Club was officially entitled " The Club of 
Royal Philosophers."* 

We can go back yet further to the first recognition of 
what to-day we regard as science and scientific method in 
England. The Neio Atlantis was composed in 1617, 
although not published until after Bacon's death 
in 1626 (dates which are curiously parallel to those 
of the first fruits of the experimental method in 
England, for Harvey enunciated his observations 
upon the circulation of the blood in his lectures before 
the College of Physicians in 161 6, but did not publish 
them until 1628). In it Francis Bacon made his 
great protest against the deductive method, which till then 
had been exclusively in vogue, and extolled the amassing 
of accurately ascertained facts, from which alone, in his 
opinion, the processes of Nature could be understood. By 
this means man could attain to " the knowledge of causes 
and secret motions of things, and the enlarging of the bonds 
of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible." 
He held that " there is much ground for hoping that there 
are still laid up in the womb of Nature many secrets of 
excellent use, having no affinity or parallelism with any- 
thing that is now known, but lying entirely out of the beat 
of the imagination, which have not yet been found out. 
They, too, no doubt, will some time or another in the 
course and revelation of many ages come to light of them- 
selves, just as the others did ; only by the method of 
which we are now treating they can be speedily and 
suddenly and simultaneously presented and anticipated." 

'Geikie. Annals of th* Roval Society Club, p 202. 1917. 



What would Bacon say could he see the outcome of 
his advice? 

What is more, he believed that this collection of 
accurately ascertained facts tested by experiment could 
best be conducted by corporate action, by a carefully 
planned and well endowed college, consisting of a company 
of Fellows divided into groups, each of which should be 
charged with a special department of enquiry and research. 
Half of the company were to be " travelling Fellows," 
engaged in collecting from foreign countries, and abstract- 
ing from books and mechanical arts and liberal sciences 
all that had been previously discovered or invented. The 
other half were to be engaged over new experiments, the 
classification of former experiments and results, and the 
establishment of conclusions and generalisations that might 
lead to yet further observations and generalisations. 

Despite the troubled times, in Europe generally as well 
as in England, the New Atlantis had a great vogue. No 
less than ten editions were issued between 1627 and 1670. 

Its outcome was the establishment, not of Colleges as 
imagined by Bacon — Colleges in a restricted sense — but of 
Societies for the promotion of natural science or natural 
philosophy. Foremost among these is to be mentioned the 
" Invisible College,' established in London in or before 
1645. That invisible college had a notable band of mem- 
bers: Boyle, the great physicist, 'father of Physics and 
brother of the Earl of Cork ' ; the universally curious John 
Wilkins, mathematician and philologist, later Bishop of 
Chester ; John Evelyn, the collector, virtuoso and authority 
on trees and landscape gardening ; Christopher Wren, the 
English Leonardo ; William Petty, political economist and 
anatomist, and author of the great Down survey of Ireland ; 
that yet more universal genius, Robert Hooke, Gresham 
Professor of Geometry, architect and designer of Beth- 


lehem Hospital, astronomer (who first showed how to see 
stars in daylight and discovered the 5th star in Orion), 
physicist (who measured the force of gravity by the swing 
of a pendulum, and made the first barometer), mechanician 
(who invented the spiral spring for regulating watches), 
and collaborator with Willis in his chemical and with 
Boyle in his physical observations ; John Wallis, who intro- 
duced the principles of analogy and continuity into mathe- 
matical science, whose Mathematica infinitorum contained 
the germ of the differential calculus, and who invented the 
sign for Infinity ; George Ent, who became President of 
the College of Physicians and vindicator of Harvey, and 
Glisson, of Glisson's capsule known to all medical students, 
who described and named Rickets in what was the first or 
almost the first English medical monograph. In 1647 
Boyle wrote, " The corner stones of the Invisible, or (as 
they term themselves) the Philosophical College, do now 
and then honour me with their company " ; while Wallis, 
referring to his memories of 1645, speaks of the college and 
its interest " in the New Philosophy which from the times 
of Galileo in Florence and Sir Francis Bacon in England 
hath been much cultivated in Italy, France, Germany and 
other parts abroad as well as with us in England." With 
the end of the Civil War the company divided, some 
remaining in London, others, Wallis, Wilkins, Goddard 
and Boyle, went to Oxford, and there in 165 1 became the 
Philosophical Society of Oxford, which continued in 
existence until 1690, when it ceased. The London mem- 
bers of the College, after the separation, continued to 
meet, the old Oxford contingent still remaining members, 
and in 1660, determining to develop on a larger scale, took 
those steps to gain the interest of the King, which led to 
the foundation of the Royal Society under Royal Charter 
in 1662, with Charles II. as founder and patron. 

. M 


Do you need any fuller proof of the meaning of 
Philosophical in the title of this Society, or evidence that 
the designation when determined in 181 2 referred not to 
mental and moral, but to experimental philosophy? 
Almost may it be claimed that he who was Member of 
Parliament for Liverpool from the year after the Armada 
to 1593 made experimental philosophy the characteristically 
English philosophy. 


Far be it from me to decry metaphysics and mental 
philosophy. Rather let me freely and fully emphasise the 
respect and appreciation all should possess for the pursuit 
of truth of any and all orders, by any and every means. 
This, however, I cannot but recognise : that the influence of 
the New Atlantis and of the Royal Society has, until these 
latter days, raised a barrier between the experimental 
philosophers, or men of science, and the students of 
philosophy as we now understand it — the mental and 
moral philosophers ; or, shall I say, between the inductive 
and the deductive philosophers ? 

The man of science fears to advance or to support him- 
self by any argument which he cannot put to the test of 
experiment. It is not that he does not employ deduction. 
On the contrary, deduction and hypothesis are the soul of 
science. The power to deduce constitutes that most 
essential possession, the scientific imagination, without 
which advance is impossible. 

Let me give you an example of inductive philosophy 
from the life of one of the greatest of all men of science, 
the centenary of whose birth we celebrated in this hall 
only last week. 

When he was asked to investigate a malady which was 
devastating the chickens in France— and those of you who 


have been in France, even if you have only partaken of 
the Table d'Hote in the railway restaurant at Calais and 
in a Paris hotel, know how essential the chicken is to the 
gastronomic well being of the Frenchman — Pasteur first, 
under careful precautions, isolated from the blood of 
animals obviously dying from the disease a particular 
microbe, a minute bacillus. He found that he could grow 
this in prepared broth at body temperature outside the body. 
The mere fact that he could obtain this particular bacillus 
from all fowls showing the particular choleraic symptoms 
peculiar to the malcidy was not sufficient for him to say that 
this was the cause of the disease. At most, it was the 
natural deduction. To make sure, he took chickens that 
had not been attacked, inoculated into them some of his 
broth culture, and found that in a few hours they drooped, 
with feathers all awry, had a profound diarrhoea, and that 
they died with all the symptoms of the malady. 

While these experiments were under way, it happened 
that he was called away from his laboratory for some days, 
and returning he resumed his experiments, using some 
of the flasks of culture which he had prepared before 
leaving, which for some days had been on a shelf. Using 
these and inoculating a new batch of fresh chickens, to 
his discomfiture nothing happened. The animals were 
none the worse. He had, therefore, to begin his work 
over again, obtain some more sick fowls, and gain cultures 
from them, and very naturally, as nothing apparently 
had happened to the batch of healthy chickens which he 
had previously inoculated, he now used them over again, 
inoculating them with the new and active cultures. To his 
astonishment they did not turn a. feather. The ordinary 
man would have simply recorded a failure of the experi- 
ment, would have taken a new lot of culture material and 
a new batch of chickens. Not so Pasteur. That failure 


meant something. Which was to blame : the new culture 
or the fowls? He tested the culture upon a batch ot 
fresh healthy chickens and they promptly sickened and 
died. Evidently the culture was not to blame. Was it 
possible, therefore, that the previous inoculation with the 
old material had affected the chickens of the earlier batclr 
so that now they could stand what was otherwise a fatal 
dose of the bacilli ? Had he at last in this apparently un- 
successful experiment really accomplished a vaccination of 
the fowls, and brought about protection from this particular 
disease, something after the manner in' which Jenner had 
protected human beings from smallpox by the inoculation 
of cow pox ? 

Here was the imagination, here the hypothesis. So 
promptly Pasteur reproduced the conditions of the experi- 
ment that failed. He took fresh and virulent cultures of 
the microbe, left them for days at the ordinary temperature 
exposed in his laboratory: found that as a matter of fact 
the longer he kept them the weaker and more attenuated 
they grew, so that he had to employ larger and larger 
quantities to produce any effects upon chickens. And in 
this way, by deduction followed by induction, he dis- 
covered the principle of preventive inoculation by means 
of attenuated virus — of protecting animals by conferring 
upon them a mild attack of the disease. 

I have chosen this illustration more particularly because 
at this very time, when we are celebrating the work accom- 
plished for humanity by the greatest of all Frenchmen, a 
brilliant farceur whose only experiment in inductive 
philosophy, to my knowledge, has been, by perverted 
paradox, to test the gullibility of the public in terms of 
;^ s. d., has had the impertinence to cast doubt upon 
Pasteur's position as a thinker and experimenter, and the 
hardihood to give the lie direct to the labours of, and the- 


results obtained by, the laboratory workers in bacteriology 
of the last generation. It would be difficult to find a better 
-example of the dangers of depending upon deductive 
reasoning alone, based upon inadequate marshalling of 
facts, than is afforded by Mr. Bernard Shaw's article in last 
week's Nation. The one consolation is that by now he has 
so well established himself as one who writes with his 
tongue in his cheek, as one who is a special pleader, to 
whom the search after the truth is secondary to the enjoy- 
ment to be gained by pulling the leg of the British public, 
that his influence as a propagandist has become negligible. 
All the same, the irritation is there when he speaks con- 
temptuously of men like Pasteur, whose nobility of 
character, honesty of purpose and of scientific life, and 
clearness of intellect are beyond praise. Those of us who 
have had the privilege of knowing M. Pasteur, those of 
us who have read that most lucid and fascinating biography 
by Vallery Radot, will comprehend the quality of Bernard 
Shaw's knowledge of that about which he writes, when he 
■characterises Pasteur as having " a ready shallow wit," a 
" keenness for cures," a " levity in experimenting on the 
living subject," and " a confidence in superficial solutions 
of very deep questions." 

To resume the more even flow of my remarks. The 
man of science has learnt by bitter experience how often 
his hypotheses or deductions prove either false or incom- 
plete when submitted to the test of experiment so that, 
on the one hand, he recognises more and more the value 
•of logic as a means to promote accurate thinking and 
reasoning, and, on the other, he comes to possess a very 
definite scepticism as to the value of deductions pure and 
simple which either are not, or cannot, be tested by precise 
methods. And because mental and moral philosophy from 
Plato through the schoolmen of the middle ages, through 


Hobbes, Berkeley, Kant, Schopenhauer, Hegel and 
Nietsche, have been developed by this latter method, the 
tendency of the English natural philosophers at least — I 
will not speak so positively of the Scottish — has been to 
treat mental and moral philosophers as it were as poor 
relations; acknowledged but kept in the background. 

And yet the man of science cannot help being a 
philosopher. To understand and promote his subject he 
must train his mind : he must collect facts, must classify 
them, must for the purpose of classification recognise 
resemblances, weigh their significance, arrive at theories 
of relationships, and must test the same, striving as the 
results of those tests to arrive at natural laws. Science, in 
fact, is one long education in observation in the first place, 
in ordered reasoning in the second, in testing the validity 
of hypotheses in the third. What is more, inevitably 
recognising that while he deals, it may be, with but one 
branch of science, his conclusions and laws are of the same 
order as those arrived at by his fellows in other branches 
of science, he comes to apply them broadly to life and its 
environment in general and to apply his findings to his 
general conduct. He cannot, that is to say, but come to have 
some mental and moral philosophy on his own account. 
His attitude in fact towards these subjects, towards 
sophistics, has been on a par with that of the growing 
multitude of the religiously minded who stand outside the 
churches and accept no official creed, although a creed 
of their own they certainly possess, imperfect it may be 
and brief, but individual and based upon personal 

Happily, things are changing, and this with the recog- 
nition by the philosophers of to-day that, after all, the 
mental processes depend upon and are only rendered 
possible through the material substratum of the mental 


mechanism, namely, the anatomy and functioning of the 
brain and sense organs. Ideas, concepts, precepts, 
associations of ideas, inteUigence, reason and imagination 
all depend upon the structure of the instrument of thought 
and its mode of action. Theories as to the nature of 
thought are matters of metaphysics ; to-day we are realising 
that " every such theory has to submit to a test of its 
congruity with the anatomical structure and physiological 
processes of the brain and nervous system."* 

And so it is being increasingly recognised that mental 
and moral philosophy must be based upon the exact study 
of nervous phenomena : from a deductive they are coming 
to be placed upon an inductive basis, and as they approach 
a synthesis of the psychical and neural aspects of the 
psycho-neural processes of the individual mind, and as 
they base themselves upon experimental psychology, 
they come into line with and indeed become one of the 
natural sciences. To us in Liverpool it is a cheering 
thought that the first University post in experimental 
psychology in this country was established here in the 
laboratory of Sir Charles Sherrington, as an outcome of 
his own long continued studies upon the nervous system. 

But this is the striking feature of the present day: 
all the Arts subjects, including History and Theology, 
are converting themselves into sciences. I was going to 
except belles lettres, but even there I find that that staunch 
supporter of the Arts, Professor Elton, in his lately pub- 
lished Slieaf of Papers, is busying himself over discovering 
the laws of metre in good plain prose. Where are we 
going to end ? You will remember the famous surprise of 
M. Jourdain (was it not?) on discovering that all these 

• I quote from the Elements in Thought and Emotion of my old friend, 
Mr. George C. Campion, just published. University of London Press 
Ltd., 1923. 


years he had been talking prose without ever knowing it. 
Our surprise is equal in finding that all these years one has 
talked in numbers without realising the fact. 

We still in our University claim geography, economics 
and commerce as Arts subjects, but in other modern 
universities they are sciences. We live in the age of tested 


But reverting to Literature — this being a literary as 
well as a philosophical and scientific society — I would like 
also to revert to our premier philosophical society and its 

In the original statutes of the Royal Society of 1663, 
cap. V. clause 4 reads as follows : — 

In all reports of experiments to be brought into the society, the 
matter of fact shall be barely stated, without any prefaces, apologies, 
or rhetorical flourishes ; and if a Fellow shall think fit to suggest 
any conjecture concerning the cause of the phenomena in such 
experiments, the same shall be done apart and so entered, etc. 

Now that statute has had a profound influence upon the 
presentation of scientific communications in this country 
from that time forth. It has given a quality of directness : 
it has instifled an abhorrence of useless verbiage. That is 
all to the good. But on the other hand it has to be admitted 
that it has drawn a bar between literary and scientific 
communications. At least in England, for here in 
Literature we have not arrived at the Chinese — and 
possibly the highest— ideal of the perfect poem, as a 
single sentiment expressed flawlessly in a single line. It 
may not have struck you from the nature of the case, a 
Chinese poem is the expression of a sentiment and nothing 
else — no metre and no rhyme — for its expression by means 
■of ideograms, which may represent totally different words 


in the northern and southern provinces, makes scansion and 
rhyme impossible. 

For us in a literary effort the rhetorical flourish, or, 
expressed otherwise, the ' purple patch,' is in itself the 
justification for all that leads up to and that follows it. 
The sonnet exists for its last line, and preface and 
apologies, if not essential, are at least common and useful 
settings for the jewel. Economy in words and condensa- 
tion of thought may be the counsel of perfection : how 
difficult to attain unto only those know who have striven 
to imitate or reproduce from memory the essays of Francis 
Bacon. But literary exercises so framed are all very 
well for the closet ; they are all very ill for delivery to the 
public, to the members of a society such as this. To drive 
one's point home to a public audience, the old-established 
advice to counsel applies, which is : repeat your main point 
twice when appearing before a judge, and three times 
to a jury. 

This may be laid down in respect to all who make 
communications by word of mouth to learned societies, 
that their first duty — both to themselves, that what they 
say may not fall on barren ground, and to their hearers, 
for their edification — is to present their information in such 
a form that through the manner of presentation the matter 
arrests attention. And this, I hold, applies as well to 
scientific as to literary communications. 

I wholly agree with the Royal Society statute as regards 
the unrighteousness either of apologies or rhetorical 
flourishes in a scientific paper. I wholly disagree in 
regard to the matter of preface. This direction has done 
actual harm. It has made men careless of form: it has 
made only too many men of parts think that distinction of 
style is out of place in a scientific paper, that the more 
bare and bald the presentation, the greater its virtue. 


And this is their own great undoing. For most humanly 
the very bareness withdraws attention. A busy man is 
not going patiently to read through it may be pages of 
description of experiments and marshalling of facts if no 
indication is given as to what it is sought to discover. To 
obviate this it has become the fashion nowadays to give 
at the conclusion of a scientific paper a summary of the 
conclusions reached. That, it is true, is a material help. 
But after all, to look at the summary at the end of a paper 
is very much like attacking a new novel by reading the 
last chapter. Too often this means that the paper is not 
otherwise consulted. Whereas a preface setting out the 
problem to be solved and its significance, calling attention 
to the work accomplished by previous workers and what it 
implies, the means they employed, the blanks yet to be 
filled, and the methods now evolved, all these create 
interest and impel full study. And if with this, the paper 
be written not in slipshod, but in good pure English, 
with evident care as to the sequence of ideas and the 
employment of precise and unequivocal phrase, the literary 
quality alone becomes a powerful aid to the understanding 
and acceptance of the writings of any worker. 

In one of his recent lectures on the drama, at the 
University, Mr. Granville Barker laid down and illustrated 
by examples from Shakespeare and other dramatists, that 
the opening words of a play should give, if not the clue, 
certainly the tone or atmosphere to the whole subsequent 
treatment of the plot. Those first words are all-important. 
That, I consider, ought to hold for every literary essay, 
even including the scientific paper. It well repays days, 
not to say weeks, of thought and revision, or writing and 
re-writing, to get the preface to express exactly the tone 
of what is to follow, to strike exactly the right note. 

Wherefore it is well that every literary communication 


to this society should also be philosophical : it is essential 

that every scientific paper should at the same time have 

literary qualities. 


One other fact impresses me from a study of the 
communications made to this society, namely, the 
alteration in the quality of the communications. It is 
evident that in the earlier years of its existence there were 
in Liverpool so few acknowledged authorities upon their 
respective subjects that the papers read were not of an 
original type, and that so they were not sufficiently 
important to merit publication. There was an era when 
the Society was, if I may so express it, of the mutual 
education type, the authors of the various communications 
seeking rather to spread than to advance knowledge, 
feeding the members upon rechauffements rather than new 
dishes. Only in 1843 did the material offered appear 
sufficiently important to be given publication in the form 
of Proceedings, and even then most of the papers were 
given in abstract or in excerpts. But with the establish- 
ment of the Proceedings there was a steady improvement in 
the quality of the material offered, and from the session of 
1859-60 to the end of the century the Society's yearly 
volumes were full of valuable and original communications, 
by authorities such as the Rev. Dr. Ginsburg, the Rev. Dr. 
Higgins, Dr. Ihne, and Sir William Herdman. 

But what is striking is that with the development of 
Liverpool as a centre for advanced studies, the staffs of 
University College and of the later University have in a 
very striking manner not taken their share in the work 
oi- the Society. With almost the solitary exception of Sir 
William Herdman with his natural history contributions, 
they have not used it as a means of making public the 
work accomplished in Liverpool and its laboratories. 


Indeed, since the beginning of this century, with the 
budding off from the present Society of bodies hke the 
Liverpool Microscopical Society, the Astronomical 
Society, the Biological Society, the Historical Society of 
Lancashire and Cheshire, the amount of original studies 
contained in the Proceedings have undergone a striking 
diminution. It has become almost entirely a literary 
society — a society for the delivery of popular addresses. 
Of high quality, it is true, but most of the original matter 
published by it deals with local history and antiquities. 

The question that I would propound to the members 
is this: With its old standing, its distinguished past, its 
vested interest in this Royal Institution with the admirable 
accommodation here provided for meetings large and small, 
is this Society playing up to its possibilities as the live 
centre of the literary and scientific activities of the city? 
I would put this before you : Never before have so many 
original studies of high order been produced in Liverp>ool 
as at the present time. Our laboratories teem with active 
workers. But for all this work Liverpool gets relatively 
little credit. And what is more, Liverpool itself is given 
little means of knowing how much is being accomplished 
in its midst. The results of these many activities are 
dispersed through the transactions and proceedings of a 
multitude of learned societies and the innumerable journals 
on special subjects pubhshed elsewhere which no one sees 
save those who pursue these particular 'ologies. 

Has not the time arrived when Liverpool should gain 
the credit for these various activities? Would it not be 
well for this Society, if it is to live up to its name, to give 
this matter its special consideration? I do not in the 
least suggest either that the present system of meetings 
to hear prepared addresses, such as this, be abrogated : 
or, on the other hand, do I in the least propose that 


this Society should become the accredited organ for the 
pubhcation in extenso of scientific and hterary papers by 
Liverpool workers. But there are two possible courses, 
both most serviceable. Either there might be established 
several sub-sections of the Society with relatively frequent 
meetings, at each of which there could be communicated 
original work in one or other branch of science, and the 
Society might without delay issue bulletins giving abstracts 
in the form of preliminary communications, with the state- 
ment as to the journal in which the work is to be published 
in full; or, on the other hand, the Society might appoint a 
group of secretaries for particular subjects, making each 
responsible for providing in the yearly volume of the 
Proceedings a full list of all books and communications to 
other societies and journals by Liverpool workers, whether 
literary or scientific, with abstracts setting forth the salient 
features of those books and communications. 

The former would need the longer time to put into 
operation, but in the end would attract into the Society 
the greater number of active members in science and 
literature ; it would incidentally make this, the oldest 
Society, the means of bringing together all the special 
scientific and literary societies already in existence in our 
city. The latter would cause less disorganisation of our 
present methods. I cannot but feel that by either method 
the Society would earn for itself a secure position as the 
central and representative body here in Liverpool for the 
promotion of Literature and Philosophy — in its broadest 



By the Very Reverend W. R. INGE, C.V.O., D.D. 

Nothing would be easier than to spend half of an hour's 
lecture in explaining what Platonism is not, and the other 
half in explaining what it is. Plato was a pioneer. He 
was not a systematic philosopher, and he was not only a 
philosopher, but a poet, a prophet, and a statesman. 
There is also good reason to believe that he had no confi- 
dence in the possibility of communicating deep spiritual 
teaching by books, and that he reserved what he considered 
the most vital- part of his message for oral instruction. 
If the Letters, or some of them, are genuine, he made no 
secret of his resolve not to reveal everything in his famous 

Prof. J. A. Stewart, in an admirable essay dealing with 
a part, perhaps the most important part, of our subject 
to-day, draws a distinction between personal and 
traditional Platonism. Traditional Platonism is the 
" mtellectual system " — to borrow the title of Cudworth's 
famous treatise, based on the implicit philosophy of the 
personal Platonist. There is, as the title of this lecture 
implies, a traditional Platonism. But it is never merely 
traditional, in the sense that it rests on ancient documents, 
or on the reverence paid to the utterances of an inspired 
teacher. On the contrary, the natural Platonist, who is 
always compelled by an inner necessity to formulate his 
convictions about the nature of reality, is quite capable 
of making a philosophy for himself, as some of our great 
poets have done, without much study of the writings of 



Plato and his school. And this philosophy is of the 
easily recognised type which we call Platonism. Words- 
worth, for example, was not, as Ruskin was, a great 
student of Plato and the Platonists ; but no purer example 
of the Platonic type can be found anywhere. Anyone 
who has read the Prologue with care knows what Platonism 

Prof. Stewart says — 

Platonism is the mood of one who has a curions eye for the 
endless variety of this visible and temporal world, and a fine sense 
of its beauties, yet is haunted by the presence of an invisible and 
eternal world behind, or, when the mood is most pressing, within, 
the visible and temporal world, and sustaining both it and 
himself — a world not perceived as external to himself, but inwardly 
lived by him, as that with which, in moments of ecstasy, or even 
habitually, he is become one. This is how personal Platonism, 
whether in a Plotinus or in a Wordsworth, may be described in 

To describe Platonism as a mood, an emotional state, 
does not quite do it justice, though in an introduction to 
a lecture on Platonism in English poetry it may be 
justified. But the Platonism which I am dealing with in 
this address is much more than a mood; it is an attitude 
towards life founded on deep conviction. 

Plato is a peculiarly good example of that type of mind 
which psychologists call " visualist." To minds of this 
type thoughts have shapes ; they are seen with the mind's 
eye. Wordsworth, a born Platonist, describes his own 
experience — 

While yet a child, and long before his time 
Had he perceived the presence and the power 
Of greatness; and deep feelings had impressed 
So vividly great objects that they lay 
Upon his mind like substances, whose pressure 
Perplexed the bodily sense. 


" They lay upon his mind hke substances." This is 
exactly what happens to the Platonist. In the words of 
tiie Epistle to the Hebrews, he sees what is invisible. 
Hence arises what Spinoza calls the intellectual love of 
God — that love which Plato always! calls by 'the word 
appropriated to the passionate love of the sexes. The 
philosopher in his opinion was essentially a lover, an 
inspired person, even a kind of madman. There exist 
gems in which Plato is represented with the attributes of 
Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstacy. But for Plato 
this love, though it begins with passionate admiration for 
individual human beauty, soon passes into love for the 
qualities mirrored in beautiful forms. The noble qualities 
which are " shared in " piecemeal by beautiful individuals 
are combined and further glorified in the mental vision, 
till they are finally unified in the vision of the perfect and 
absolute beauty, the source from which all things lovely 
and noble and of good -report flow. And as this vision 
grows clearer, it tends to dim by comparison our admira- 
tion of the beauties which are visible. Thought becomes 
passionate, the passions become cold. So the pursuit of 
heavenly love detaches us from at least the sensuous 
attractions of earthly love and visible beauty. 

It is impossible to separate this vivid and experienced 
philosophy from the theory of knowledge which belongs 
tc it. The unreflecting man regards as real what he can 
see and touch ; the rest are " only " ideas in his own mind, 
objects less real or not real at all. Many thinkers, 
especially if their main interests are in natural science, 
accept this materialistic hypothesis, and, without denying 
the existence of an invisible world, regard it as unknow- 
able. Knowledge, they say, is limited to phenomena. 
Some have even called the visible world " reahty," the 
invisible world of the idealist the world of " dreams." 



Now Plato's theory of knowledge is the exact opposite 
of this. One of his fundamental doctrines is that " the 
completely real can alone be completely known" (to 
TravTeAoic ov ttuvtsXws yvMOTov). About the real we can have 
knowledge ; about appearances we can have only opinion. 
And appearances include all the world as known to sense. 
Different faculties are used in apprehending different 
classes of objects. The highest faculty, which he calls 
vouc, and which the Christian Platoiiists called ■nvsufxa, is 
alone able to seize things as they really are, which it does 
by uniting itself with them, reality being a unity in duality 
of vou: and voYiTu. N0V5 is strictly a faculty which all 
possess, though, as Plotinus says, few use it; and we 
cannot use it without a long preparatory discipline, which 
disengages the soul from the impediments which belong 
to existence in space and time, and trains it to breathe 
freely in the atmosphere of the eternal world. This 
discipline includes first the practice of all the virtues which 
make a man a good citizen ; then a purification by constant 
self-denial and conquest of the temptations of the world 
and the flesh ; after which the way is open to the true 
spiritual life, with all the revelations of divine truth which 
accompany such a way of living. 

This, put as shortly as possible, is Platonism in theory 
and practice. What I have said will make it plain why the 
love of beauty, asceticism (not of a harsh and barbarous 
J<ind), and mysticism, all have their natural place in the 

It is not, as has been frequently said, a philosophy of 
dualism. It is so far from being this, that if it becomes 
dualistic, owing to the weakness of human nature, it dies. 
The ascent is through nature to God; and we no more 
leave behind the study and admiration of God's visible 
works when we advance to the contemplation of the 


invisible, than we abandon our civic duties when we 
embark on self-discipline. But the tendency is either to 
neglect the external world for the inner life, which is the 
temptation of the mystic, or to remain entangled with 
sensuous delights while dreaming of heavenly love. As 
Prof. Stewart says, there have been amorous sonnetteers 
who are Platonists in manner, but in heart disciples of 
Ovid. For the true Platonist reality is one, and the path 
to it is an inclined plane ; there are no violent leaps and no 
kicking down of the ladder by which we have ascended. 

I wish further to emphasise these points which follow. 

Platonism is called a philosophy, but it is also a 
religion. The object of philosophy is (ro<$ja— wisdom, 
which means the right conduct of life by a being endowed 
with reason. It has all the characteristics of religion, and 
is more indissoUibly united with ethics and devotion than 
is modern philosophy in general. 

Secondly, it is essentially an unworldly religion — 
unworldly rather than otherworldly, for it does not defer 
eternal life to another sphere of existence. Plato's ideal 
State is the spiritual man writ large. Its historical realisa- 
tion — not a very happy realisation — was the theocratic 
Catholic Church. It is essentially a philosophy of values. 
The famous Ideas are values — not unrealised ideals, but 
eternal facts — the most real things in the universe. Perhaps 
we may say that his triad of virtues was Love, Faith and 
Wisdom, and the greatest of these is Wisdom. Words- 
worth's " We live by Admiration, Hope and Love " is 
not far from Plato, nor is St. Paul's Faith, Hope and Love. 
In Plato, the highest values are also the clearest and the 
most certain. Nietzsche called Plato a Christian before 
Christ, and there is much to justify these words. As I 
said in my Essay in " The Legacy of Greece," the con- 
tinuity of historical Christianity with the religious 


philosophy of antiquity is unbroken. The Catholic: 
Church was the last creative achievement of the old culture^ 
not the beginning of the Middle Ages. And in the latest 
age of antiquity, Platonism gathered up into itself all 
that was best in Greek thought. Much of Aristotle and 
much of Stoicism was absorbed into the Neoplatonic 
tradition, which furnished Christianity with its theology, 
metaphysics, and mysticism. It is probably for ever 
impossible to cut Platonism out of Christianity. 

There is, of course, much in Plato which did not live 
continuously in the thought and life of later ages. It was 
mainly as a prophet and religious teacher that Plato lived ; 
and the three dialogues which had so great an effect on the 
future of Europe were the " Timaeus," " Phaedrus," and 
" Symposium." 

My subject is the Platonic tradition in our own country. 
I shall therefore not speak of the Platonism of St. Paul,, 
the Epistle to the Hebrews, and St. John. Nor can I 
dwell on the Christian Platonists of Alexandria, the 
Cappadocian Fathers, who owed much to Plotinus; 
Augustine, of whom the same may be said ; and of the 
philosophical mystics who carried on the Platonic type of 
religion and speculative thought until the Renaissance. 
Dante is alone enough to prove how little the Platonic 
tradition had been forgotten in the West. And as soon as 
the Greek manuscripts and teachers began to come to 
Italy, the famous Platonic Academy was founded at 
Florence, and the scholars of the time began to reverence 
Plato almost as a divine being. Nor was it long before 
in the time of Colet and Erasmus, the new enthusiasm made 
its way to England. 

I wish to emphasise with all the energy in my power, 
that this Platonic tradition is a legitimate type of 
Christianity ; that it may trace its Christian ancestry back 


■without a break to the New Testament itself ; and that it 
can claim a most distinguished roll of honour in this 
-country, from the Reformation to our own time. 

I am aware that the numerous histories of the Church 
of England give a different impression. They give us, for 
the most part, a picture of a sustained conflict between 
the Catholic and the Protestant elements in a church 
which, because it was national, had to be comprehensive 
and yet insular, embracing all except irreconcilables, but 
stiff against those who either owned a foreign allegiance 
or no allegiance at all. The whole history, when thu6 
treated, is inextricably intertwined with secular f)olitics, 
with the rising consciousness of nationality and stout 
independence under Henry VIII. and Elizabeth; the 
alliance with the monarchical principle under the Stuarts ; 
the acceptance of the oligarchic regime while the ship 
floated on calm waters through the eighteenth century ; 
the response within the Church to the pietistic middle 
■class revolt which caused the Methodist secession ; the 
revival of Laudian ecclesiasticism to meet the threatened 
Liberal attack upon the Church at the beginning of Queen 
Victoria's reign ; and lastly, the extravagances of the 
epigoni of the new Laudians, who wish on the one hand 
to go back behind the Reformation, and on the other 
to find allies among political revolutionaries. It is part 
of the ingrained politicism of English thought that Church 
history should be written in this way. The method, and 
the centre of interest are much the same if, as in some 
Church histories, the relation of the Establishment to 
political and social movements is ignored, and the 
narrative deals with Church politics, with the struggles of 
one faction after another to gain predominance and 
suppress its rivals, whether the enemy for the time being 
was Enthusiasm (as they said in the i8th century), or 


Ritualism, or Liberalism ; with appointments to bishoprics- 
and heresy hunts and Lambeth Conferences. These are 
the subjects which make Church history interesting to a 
nation which interprets all human life on the analogy and 
often in the language of a cricket match or a prize fight. 
The Enghshman is, above all other races, a " naturally 
political animal." 

But politics only touch the surface of Christianity. 
Even in the great Roman Church, which is the direct heir 
of classical imperialism, there is an unbroken tradition, a 
true apostolical succession, of lives which are sheltered 
rather than moulded by the Imperial Government, and 
which exhibit a recognisable type of character, the true 
life-blood of the institution. There is a Catholic type of 
piety, and without it the institution could not long retain 
its power and attractiveness. 

And there is a type of piety which belongs to the 
English people. There are no doubt several types, all of 
them well represented in English religion. But it is worth 
emphasising that besides the sturdy individualising robust 
morality, and strong practicality which foreigners have 
noted as our characteristics, there is also a deep vein of 
sentiment and a lofty idealism in the English nature 
which has inspired some of the noblest poetry in the world. 
The English character on the whole rejects alien types — 
the fanatical racialism of the Jew; the Roman Catholic 
piety, which is at home only in the Latin nations ; the hard, 
stern, logical theology of Calrin ; the emotionalism of the 
Lutherans. But our national character has always taken 
kmdly to Platonism; and if we neglect this element in 
our religious history, we shall be missing some of the best 
part of it. 

Besides the Cathohc tradition which has its source and 
centre in Rome, and the Protestant tradition which (with- 


out forgetting Wycliff) we may say had its source in 
Germany, there is a third influence and tradition 
m Enghsh rehgion, which have been far too much over- 
looked, and which awaken a response in the Enghsh 
character at its best. We may call it the Renaissance 
tradition, but it really goes back to Greece and Plato. 
The Renaissance in England flowered very late, and 
characteristically produced masterpieces of literature 
rather than of art. The Shakespearean drama is, of 
course, its proudest achievement. But long before 
Shakespeare, even before the English Reformation, it 
came to England with Erasmus, bringing a new devotion 
to the scholarly study of Holy Scripture and of Greek 
philosophy. In this way the scholars who pioneered the 
New Learning picked up, and knew that they had picked 
up, the course of one- of the main streams which have united 
to make the Christian Church, and had re-established 
their connexion with Greek theology and with ancient 
philosophy. The intellectual schism between East and 
West was at an end, or rather the isolation of the West 
was over. The New Learning gave back to the nations of 
the West not only the Greek Fathers and writers like the 
Pseudo-Dionysius, but it brought back the understanding 
of the Fourth Gospel and of much of St. Paul. The names 
of Colet and Sir Thomas More hold a peculiarly honour- 
able place in the history of intellectual development in this 
country. In these men and their friends we find a move- 
ment to simplify Christian Doctrine ; to interpret the 
Bible by the rules of scholarship ; to reconcile Christianity 
with natural science ; to welcome free enquiry, and ta 
exercise toleration. The Reformation diverted and partly 
submerged this movement ; and before long the struggle 
with the Counter-Reformation turned Protestantism into 
a religion of authority, and checked its further develop- 


ment. But Hooker belongs to the enlightened Renaissance 
School, and in the poetry of Spenser and Sir Philip 
Sidney, Christian Platonism is enshrined in language of 
immortal beauty. 

Leave me O Love which reacheth but to dust, 
And thou my mind aspire to higher things, 
Grow rich in that which never taketh rust; 
Whatever fades but fading pleasure brings. 
Draw in thy beams and humble all thy might 
To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be 
Which breaks the clouds and opens forth a light 
That doth both shine and give us light to see. 
O take fast hold ! let that light be thy guide 
In this small course which birth draws out to death, 
And think how ill becometh him to slide 
Who seeketh heaven and comes of heavenly breath. 
Then farewell world 1 thy uttermost I see : 
Eternal Love, maintain thy life in me I 

The seventeenth century was a critical time in the 
history of Anglicanism. Schemes of re-union were in the 
air, and were promoted actively by divines who represented 
the Renaissance tradition, such as Chillingworth, Hales of 
Eton, and Stillingfleet, with whom Jeremy Taylor may 
fairly be classed. These are among the greatest Church- 
men of their time. 

An interesting Platonist of the Civil War was Robert 
Grenville, Lord Brooke, a Parliamentary General who, 
after gaining the victory of Kineton, was killed at the siege 
of Lichfield. In his philosophical work. The Nature of 
Truth, he refuses to distinguish between philosophy and 
theology. Faith and reason differ in degree only, not in 
nature ; knowledge and affection are but different shapes 
under which truth is manifested to us ; " what good we 
know, we are ; our act of understanding being an act of 
union." His philosophy only increased his courage. " If 


we knew this truth, that all things are one, how cheerfully, 
with what modest courage, should we undertake any 
action, reincounter any occurrence, knowing that that 
distinction of misery and happiness which now so per- 
plexeth us, hath no being except in the brain." 

Brooke, though a man of action, seems to have had 
much in common with the famous Cambridge group, now 
called the Cambridge Platonists, but in their own time the 
" Latitude Men " (not because they were supposed to be 
unorthodox, but because they were in favour of re-union 
with the sects). These men professed their desire to call 
back the Church to her old loving nurse, the Platonic 
philosophy : they were diligent students not only of Plato 
but of Plotinus, and withal men of saintly character and 
great personal influence. They were not much molested 
either by the Laudians or by the Presbyterians or the 
Independents — Whichcote alone lost his provostship at 
King's — and they took no sides in the civil troubles: but 
Burnett says that they, almost alone, upheld the credit of 
the Church of England for learning and piety. Whichcote 
lives chiefly in the admirable aphorisms culled from his 
published sermons — a book much read in the i8th century. 
A few characteristic sayings may be quoted — 

*' Heaven is first a temper and then a place." " I oppose 
not rational to spiritual, for spiritual is most rational." ** The 
mind of a good man is the best part of him, and the mind of 
a bad man is the worst part of him." " There is nothing in 
religion necessary which is uncertain." " I give much to the 
Spirit of God breathing in good men, with whom I converse 
in the present world, in the university and otherwhere ; and 
think that if I may learn much by the writings of good men 
in former ages, which I hope I do not neglect, by the actings 
of the Divine Spirit in the minds of good men now alive I 
may learn more." " The times in which I live are more to 
me than any else." •' He that never changed any of his 


opinions never corrected any of his mistakes." "I will not 
make a religion for God, nor suffer any to make a religion for 
me." " It is a very great evil to make God a mean and the 
world an end." "The spirit of religion is a reconciling 
spirit." '-Every man taken at his best will be found good for 
something." "Sin is an attempt to control the immutable 
laws of everlasting righteousness, goodness, and truth, upon 
which the universe depends." " Take away the self-conceited 
and there will be elbow-room in the world." " A man cannot 
be at peace with himself when he lives in disobedience to 
known truth." " It ill becomes us to make our intellectual 
faculties Gibeonites." " It doth not become a Christian to- 
be credulous." 

A good Christian, and a wise and large-minded man. 
I have not time to say much about the other members 
of the group — Henry More, John Smith, Cud worth and 
Culverwell. Cudworth's treatise has the highest reputa- 
tion, and is mentioned even in foreign books of philosophy ; 
but for us the small volume of sermons by Smith is far 
more attractive. They are overloaded with quotations, 
after the manner of their time ; but they are perhaps the 
finest university sermons ever preached in this country. If 
you want to see what an exalted and fervent devotion can 
be built upon Christianised Platonism, read the Select Dis- 
courses of John Smith, of which the Discourse on Immor- 
tality is perhaps the finest. It proceeds from the Platonic 
postulate that " no substantial thing ever perisheth." There 
are (he says, following Proclus) four degrees of knowledge : 
(i) naked perception of sensible impressions, without any 
reason (2) knowledge of opinion, in which impressions 
are collated with our more obscure ideas (3) discourse or 
reason, such as mathematics (4) " the naked intuition of 
eternal truth, which is always the same, which never rises 
or sets, but always stands still in its vertical, and fills the 
whole horizon of the soul with a mild and gentle light," thus 


giving evidence of " some permanent and stable essence in 
the soul of man." The soul "partakes of time in its broken 
and particular conceptions and apprehensions, and of 
eternity in its comprehension and stable contemplations." 
Once on the top, the soul will no longer " doubt whether 
any drowsy sleep shall hereafter seize upon it," but will 
grasp " fast and safely its own immortality and view itself 
in the horizon of eternity." This is the Platonic argument 
for the immortality of the soul ; and it is the most solid 
argument for this hope that has been or can be adduced. 

The influence of the Cambridge group did not die with 
them. The i8th century was no doubt on the whole 
unfavourable to this type of religion ; but in Willicim Law, 
the most virile intellect and character in the English Church 
during that century, we have undoubtedly a kindred 
spirit. It is true that he does not admit any debt to the 
school of Plato, and speaks with disrespect of Henry More ; 
Churchman and Non-Juror. In all essentials his teaching 
is the same as that of Smith and Wichcote. 

But it was in the crisis of the Napoleonic War that 
English religious idealism found its noblest expression, 
and it found it not in prose but in verse, not from divines 
but from poets. We have derived most of our spiritual 
teaching from our poets, and we have been wise. What 
Horace says of Homer is true of English poetry — 

Quid sit pulcrum, quid utile, quid non, 
Rectius et melius Chrysippo et Crantore dicit. 

Plato himself was a poet, and he would have been 
amused at the utilitarian Bentham's remark that " all 
poetry is misrepresentation." 

Wordsworth, as I have already indicated, is our greatest 
Platonist. And yet I feel that some qualification of this 


Statement is needed. His attitude was not quite theit of 
Winckelmann, a pure Platonist, who says— 

The perfection of beauty exists only in God, and human 
beauty is elevated in proportion as it approaches the idea of 
God. This idea of beauty is a spiritual quintessence extracted 
from created substances, as it were, by an alchemy of fire ; 
and is produced by the imagination endeavouring to conceive 
what is human as existing as a prototype in the mind of God. 

Wordsworth, who defined imagination as " reason in 
her most exalted mood," would not have objected to this ; 
but for him it was not beauty, but the everlasting and 
ubiquitous hfe of nature which was most inspiring. " To 
see into the life of things " was his main desire. 

With bliss ineffable 
I felt the sentiment of Being spread 
O'er all that moves and all that seemeth still. 

And love, in the sense which the word bears in Browning's 
poetry, contributed little or nothing to his religious 

He was a mystic from childhood, and like most 
mystics was not much interested in external details. He 
never studied natural science, and disliked the stock- 
taking of picturesque effects which he observed in other 
poets, including, he thought. Sir Walter Scott. " Nature," 
he said, " does not permit an inventory to be made of her 
charms." There is very little scenery in Wordsworth : 
his stage is bare except for the actors. On the other hand, 
he actually criticised Coleridge's mind as " debarred from 
nature's loving images" by its "self-created sustenance," 
"Platonic forms," and "words for things." A weird and 
romantic imagination prevented the real lessons of nature 
from sinking into Coleridge's soul. By "Platonic forms " 
Wordsworth meant the personified abstractions which .play 


SO large a part in Blake's and Shelley's poetry. Shelley is 
full of the language of Platonism, but such philosophy as 
we can find in his beautiful verse is rather a kind of 
pantheism, and he never went through the moral disciphne 
which Wordsworth, like Plato, deemed essential for the 
higher vision. 

This moral discipline is an essential part of Platonism 
as a religion, and Wordsworth practised it fully. Vohtion 
and self-government are everywhere apparent in his life. 
He was almost penurious in husbanding his emotions, 
shutming and repressing all wasteful excitement. He 
describes his own self-education : " duty beginning from the 
point of accountableness to his own conscience, and 
through that to God and human nature " ; then " a sinking 
inward into ourselves from thought to thought, a steady 
remonstrance and a high resolve." Let, then, the youth 
go back to nature and to solitude. A world of fresh sensa- 
tions will gradually open upon him, as instead of being 
propelled restlessly towards others in admiration or too 
hasty love, he makes it his prime business to understand 
himself. He set aside the world's judgments with confi- 
dent scorn. " When I think of the pure, honest, absolute 
ignorance in which worldlings of every rank and situation 
must be enveloped, with respect to the thoughts, feelings 
and images on which the life of my poems depends," what 
can I expect ? 

In spite of his disparaging allusion to " Platonic forms," 
he saw very much what Plato saw — 

Incumbencies more awful, visitings 
Of the Upholder of the tranquil soul, 
That tolerates the indignities of time, 
And from the centre of eternity 
All finite motions overruling, lives 
In glory immutable. 


" I wish either to be considered as a teacher or as 
nothing," said Wordsworth. And a rehgious teacher he 
has been to thousands in this country, though to very few 
on the Continent, where the close— and essentially Greek- 
association between poetry and philosophy has been less 
honoured than among ourselves. 

Christian Platonisni has had many worthy representa- 
tives in Enghsh theology in the iQth century. Erskine 
of Linlathen, Maurice and Westcott will occur to every- 
body. The Christian philosophy of men like Green, the 
Cairds, Illmgworth, Moberly, and others is, up to a 
certain point at least, of the Platonic type, and I think we 
shall have more, perhaps more closely in touch with the 
Platonic tradition, some phases of which, long neglected, 
are becoming better known. 

I ask you then to agree with me that besides the 
<:ombative Catholic and Protestant elements in the 
Churches, there has always been a third element, with very 
honourable traditions, which came to life again at the 
Renaissance, but really reaches back to the Greek 
Fathers, to St. Paul and St. John, to Philo, and ultimately 
to the whole line of Greek philosophers, whose 800 years' 
debate ended in the religious philosophy of Plotinus and 
his school, to whom Eucken rightly attributes a decisive 
influence upon the theology and religion of the Christian 
Church. You have gathered what the characteristics of 
this type of Christianity are — a spiritual religion, based 
on a firm belief in absolute and eternal values as the most 
real things in the universe — a confidence that these values 
are knowable by man — a belief that they can, neverthe- 
less, only be known by whole-hearted consecration of the 
intellect, will and affections to the great quest — an 
entirely open mind towards the discoveries of science, 
which, abstract as they are, are true in their own sphere. 


and not to be corrected by mixing them with scientific 
falsehood— a reverent and receptive attitude to the beauty, 
subHmity and wisdom of the creation, as a revelation of 
the mind and character of the Creator — a complete 
independence of the current valuations of the worldling. 

In such a presentation of Christianity lies, I believe, 
our hope for the future. It cuts us loose from that orthodox 
materialism which in attempting to build a bridge between 
the world of facts and the world of values only succeeds 
in confounding one order and degrading the other. It 
equally emancipates us from that political secularism 
which is perhaps an even more fatal danger to English 
religion at the present time — the propagandism which 
seeks to cater for the man who says, like Jacob, " If the 
Lord will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on, then 
shall the Lord be my God." The end of such a humiliating 
flirtation can only be predicted in the taunt of Helen to 

The Churches are undoubtedly passing through a crisis, 
almost but not quite as grave as when Christianity turned 
her back upon Asia and her face to Europe in St. Paul's 
time. The time is come for the " removal of the things 
that are shaken, that the things which are not shaken nray 
remain." The things that are not shaken are those eternal 
values which are the contents of the mind of God as 
revealed to man, " The throne of the Godhead," as 
Macarius said, " is the spirit of man " : the spirit of man 
which has its true home in that heaven which is not a place 
above our heads, but the presence of the great Father of 
Spirits who has his centre everywhere and his circum- 
ference nowhere. 

University of Toronto 








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